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Urban Design Compendium


Case Study 017 - Understanding the context of the site

017 - Newhall, Harlow

The masterplan for Newhall, a new neighbourhood for 6,000 people in Harlow, responds to specific characteristics and features of the site, demonstrating that the intrinsic differences of every site can inform new development and create distinctive places. Existing features such as woodlands, hedgerows, trees and species-rich grassland are retained and existing drainage courses have been made part of a comprehensive SUDS scheme. The hierarchical street layout is based on a lattice structure, stretched to suit the topography and where possible, streets run alongside existing vegetation to ensure that this can be retained within the public realm.

The masterplan demonstrates in particular how high-quality contemporary architecture located within a site that responds to its context can create an identity for the neighbourhood. To achieve this, the Newhall Design Code stipulates a colour and materials palette to be used to create contemporary architecture. This is based on the belief that every settlement can be distinct by virtue of its mineral setting. A detailed study of the materials and colours used in local traditional architecture in the area informed four palettes which are used to describe facades, roofs, paintwork and floorscape. Quality materials include handmade bricks, Welsh slates, and granite setts and kerbs for street details.

Newhall demonstrates that the intrinsic differences of every site can inform development proposals to create distinct places that have a character and identity of their own. It also illustrates that you don’t need fake elements and pastiche to make a place identifiable; high-quality contemporary architecture located within a site that responds to its context can create highly successful identifiable places.

Other Information

  • Location: Harlow
  • Project Team: Key partners: Newhall Projects Ltd Developer: Copthorn Homes, Barratt Homes,Moat Housing Group, Newhall Projects Ltd, CALA Homes,Spaceover, Galliford Try Masterplanner: Roger Evans Associates Architect: Proctor and Matthews Architects,Robert Hutson Architects, Roger Evans Associates,ECD Architects, Richard Murphy Architects,ORMS Architects, PCKO
  • Contact: www.newhallproject.co.uk

  

UDC2 Section - Sowing the Seed

The unique colour and materials palette for Newhall uses the mineral setting of the site to determine the character and identity of the neighbourhood.

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