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18/01/2011
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Stanmore Place

Harrow, London

Description

Stanmore Place brings together a mix of houses, apartments, commercial office and start-up business spaces. It will also eventually include small shops. The site is set back from the main road but clearly visible and access is easy. When complete, it provide useful shortcut to the local underground station, Canons Park.

Phases 1 and 2 comprise 196 homes. These are a mix of three-, four- and five-bedroom houses which are all social rented, and one-, two- and three-bedroom flats  for private sale. There are also 19 low-cost home ownership flats.

The masterplan had to circumvent the many constraints of the site, including limited access points on the north and west sides. Flood risk at the western edge along Edgware Brook also had to be considered. The creation of an artificial lake and water feature to accommodate potential flood water required significant cut and fill operations around the site but removal of material from the site was avoided.

Colin Veitch of GRID Architects said: ‘The new lake, designed to hide the fact there is a flood storage solution, is now home to a family of ducks, and has already become a much appreciated local landmark.’ 

An industrial estate to the south, the Jubilee Line running on an embankment to the east, and the rear gardens of Whitchurch Lane along much of the north side also made the site particularly challenging. The solution to the southern edge was inspired. The architect again: ‘The car storage building – as a buffer to the industrial estate – was a unique proposal, which we hope will influence residents to choose greener methods of travel, and be copied elsewhere.’

The first phases of Stanmore Place create attractive buildings and spaces for both market sale and rented properties. The masterplan works at a larger scale and different character from the surrounding area but nevertheless integrates well and works with the existing urban grain. There is a well defined plan, with a hierarchy of routes, and it is easy to navigate.

Stanmore Place has successfully overcome the constraints of a difficult site by making the most of opportunities and maintaining simplicity of scale, layout and appearance.