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John Pardey reveals housing for former MOD site

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John Pardey Architects has revealed plans to build six homes within the listed blast walls of a former MOD Ordinance Depot site in Hampshire

Another three houses will be constructed as ‘bookends’ to the scheme on the historic Priddy’s Hard in Gosport.

The site overlooking Portsmouth harbour, which had been used as a defence base since 1750, was vacated by the MOD in 1988 when the last remaining stores and staff were relocated. It has since been earmarked for housing development.

The project has been submitted for planning, and if successful, work on the homes is likely to begin later this year.

The architect’s view

‘Formerly the Priddy’s Hard Ministry of Defence Ordinance Depot, a series of Shell Filling and Emptying Rooms constructed between 1880 and 1915 with their surrounding blast walls or ‘traverses’ sit within the Priddy’s Hard Conservation Area. Ramparts to the east are registered as a Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

‘The inter-tidal mudlands of Forton Lake are designated as sites of Special Scientific Interest, as a Special Protection area for birds and as a Wetland site of International Importance under the International Convention on the Conservation of Wetlands (Ramsar site).

‘Our design concept begins with finding a suitable design for the houses set within the traverses - the aspiration to both pick up on the naval heritage of Priddy’s Hard and to contrast with, yet avoid competing with, the heavy masonry structure.

‘The design therefore adopts metal-clad buildings that float within the bays, offering a ‘light touch’ - so that the traverse walls can be seen around and under the houses. These are then clad in corrugated metal in a dark grey tone, hinting at both the idea of utilitarian industrial sheds and the battleship grey of the Royal Navy.

‘The houses are ‘open’ fronted, with glazed walls set back from forward canting fronts, which counterpoints the battered traverse walls.

‘Occupying the sites of the two former Trotyl melting room structures, two elevated houses again float above a continuation of the existing blast wall, providing ‘bookends’, clad in a lighter grey metal cladding.’
The final house acts as a kind of ‘gatehouse’ - this house, now remote from the remaining brick structures, sits squarely on the ground in brick construction

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