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Kevin McCloud’s housing to be rolled out

Work has almost completed on Glenn Howells Architects’ £4 million, 42-home Triangle development in Swindon – the first housing scheme by Grand Designs TV presenter Kevin McCloud’s development company, Hab

McCloud, whose company has worked with the housing group GreenSquare (as Hab Oakus), claims the scheme came in at just £1,150/sq m and marks the start of a mass housing drive to roll out similar projects under the Hab banner.

He said: ‘This is a deliverable housing scheme that is now repeatable. We are working on other projects, which will allow us to take advantage of the investment and research we have made.

He added: ‘It should be possible to do Code for Sustainable Homes level 5 with the same amount of money and we are working on larger schemes.’

Hab, which has yet to fully finish the landscaping on the Swindon scheme, is working on a number of other developments around the South West, including schemes in Stroud by DSDHA and in Oxford by AHMM.

Former AJ editor and Hab design director Isabel Allen said having McCloud and the cameras on board had not turned into ‘financial deals’, but had energised people to give up their time.

She added: ‘We have managed to absorb lots of free time and nobody has put a price on that. But now we have a good network of consultants and we are getting more confident about what we do. We want to do lots of good housing and there is a massive need down here in the West Country.’

Allen explained that Hab would retain the architects chosen to work in particular town on further projects in the area.

She said: ‘The Triangle scheme is a prototype. But we are not going to churn it out. The fundamental thing about Hab is always the context.

‘This is a dead simple terrace house based on a Swindon railway cottage. There are no cantilevers here. It is about getting proportions right.’

Glenn Howells Architects’ Triangle development in Swindon

Glenn Howells Architects’ £4 million 42-home Triangle development in Swindon

Glenn Howells, who admits to having ‘squandered’ time on the scheme,  said: ‘We wanted to see what we could achieve within these [budget] constraints.’

See more images here.

Readers' comments (6)

  • As with my moan on the Future Townhouse project - this scheme continues the modern malaise of car parking right up hard to the front of the house.
    No chance for an attractive front garden and a reduced chance for interaction with neighbours.
    It encourages the seamless transition from your mobile metal box straight into your static brick box. Why cant there be a distinct and physical separation between home and car or have we become so attached to our cars we feel the need to keep them close at hand like a pampered child?

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  • I like the bike racks though!

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  • John Kellett

    It does rather have the look of a row of terraced slate quarryman's houses in North Wales: very harsh and very grey.
    It is perhaps due to the lack of landscaping and the lack of a sunny day for the photos but......

    Also: "had energised people to give up their time", "We have managed to absorb lots of free time and nobody has put a price on that", and "admits to having ‘squandered’ time on the scheme" do appear to be euphemisms for "work for free". I wonder who made a profit out of the scheme.

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  • All that infrastructure for just two stories, what a shame.

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  • All that infrastructure for just two stories, what a shame.

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  • Nice to see some affordable housing that moves away from the chocolate-box house dulled down by budget and committee.

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