South Chase Housing

Entitled South Chase, the 84-residence development is the first phase in the construction of a new neighbourhood on the eastern edge of the town of Harlow and it accommodates a variety of housing typologies.

Apartment blocks and stand-alone houses mark the corners and end-plots of four new streets, while rows of terraced houses and courtyard houses are arranged in rows between.

Describing the goals of the development, Alison Brooks told Dezeen she wanted to create "a completely new and more sustainable suburban housing typology where open-plan flexible houses are integrated with outdoor spaces to increase the sense of space and light".

The architect also emphasised the importance of creating "dedicated working spaces" in each house, adapting to the growing number of people who work from home and "helping to create an economically active suburb". In line with this, each house comes with an accessible loft that can be converted into an office and the larger houses also include a ground-floor study that doubles up as a spare bedroom.

There are 50 houses on the site in total: 14 stand-alone houses, 29 courtyard houses and 7 terraced houses. The T-shaped courtyard houses are designed to offer a new standard in UK housing, with a dense format that makes room for terraces at both ground and first floor levels. Meanwhile, the terraced houses include south-facing front gardens and the L-shaped stand-alone houses have both rear gardens and driveways.

The five accompanying apartment blocks each contain between six and eight homes and are positioned to maximise views.

All buildings feature a prefabricated timber construction, with a materials palette of sandy brickwork, black-stained larch and slate roof tiles.

Alison Brooks Architects designed the masterplan in collaboration with urban designers Studio REAL.

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