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Inspiring housing #4: Sally Lewis on Bear Lane

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[More Homes Better Homes] Stitch Studio founder Sally Lewis tells the AJ why Panter Hudspith’s Bear Lane is an exemplar housing scheme

Why do you like the scheme?

I discovered this building by chance and it lured me up the street. It needed some interpreting: its form is carefully crafted to resemble a collection of modular brick boxes sitting upon each other like an organically grown piece of town. The subtle use of varying brick tones, along with the push and pull of the façade, is delightful and creates a fine grain and human scale that is so elusive in high density housing design. From the mastery of brick detailing to its performance in creating an enticing new streetscape on an awkward site, this scheme is an exemplar. 

What could government learn from it?

This project is a signal of what can be achieved with the right team and an attitude to designing urban housing that is utterly bespoke and responsive to context. The government should take notice: no template will do for this kind of urban site, where housing is in the highest demand. You could not replicate this scheme anywhere else, and that is why it works so well. It delivers more than homes by offering surprise and delight to the wider area. We must not lose sight of the benefits of such great urban crafting in our rush to meet housing delivery targets.

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