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Work completes on Sheffield homes by FAT and AA Architects

The Great Places Housing Group has released images of this 35-housing development in Parson Cross, Sheffield, designed by FAT and delivered by AA Architects

The £3.6 million development, featuring ‘patterned brickwork and elaborate window surrounds’, received £1.5 million of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Named Larkin Grove after the Yorkshire poet Philip Larkin, the scheme is a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes offered for shared ownership including ‘try before you buy’ intermediate rent and social rent.

According to Great Places the homes are set around a pedestrian-friendly ‘European-style Home Zone’ and feature ‘ceilings higher than standard, adding to a feeling of light and space’.

The houses have attained Code for Sustainable Homes level three and have roof-top solar-panels and high-specification double glazing, making bills cheap for residents.

Although FAT prepared the planning application, the practice was not novated to the design and build contractor and the scheme was subsequently completed by AA Architects.


Great Places’ chief executive, Stephen Porter, said: ‘This development not only meets the urgent need for high quality affordable family homes in the area but it is also ground-breaking and unique from a design perspective.

‘We’ve worked with progressive, award-winning architects, taking care to ensure the homes don’t just look great but actually are great homes to live in.’

Jan Fitzgerald, Sheffield City Council’s Programme Director, Regeneration, said: ‘It’s great to see such well designed and striking new homes in this part of the city. Local people and Councillors have been involved in the regeneration of this area for a long time now and we have set a standard people can be really proud of.’

FAT’s first development for Great Places was Islington Square at New Islington, Manchester, with its Dutch-inspired facades, completed in 2006.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Some great ideas but in execution they're awfully ugly boxes... The rear elevations are particularly disappointing.

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  • Definition of Grove - 'a small wood, orchard or group of trees.'
    Not 'endless and ugly hard paving devoid of any greenery soon to be covered by parked cars'.
    As far as the houses go - gimmicky and dishonest masquerading as "well designed and striking".

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  • Strip away the decoration and you are left with rather boring, poorly proportioned bland boxes...quite disappointing from FAT.

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  • bland boxes with stuck on decoration. It's what kids do with shoe boxes, only these shoe boxes are for real!

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  • FLOW

    Good strong concept here, difficult to do with volume housebuilders, let alone social/affordable housing.

    Arguably FAT should've taken it the whole way instead of giving detail design and delivery to another architect.

    Maybe they're too busy with all their blogging, tweeting, and theorising to care about stages F-L, which is a shame, as this is where things like gas meters and alarms and all the real stuff can be integrated into the concept if one guy has ownership from concept to completion - perhaps concealed behind another frilly timber panel, for example.

    But overall it's a good effort. Easy and predictable for snobbish architects to complain about the details, and the taste, but compare this to your average Noddy Box and it's clear that anything that raises awareness and gives the public other options in new volume housebuilding has to be commended.

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