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Nick Willson wins go-ahead to replace former pub in Harrow with homes

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Nick Willson Architects has won approval to build 36 flats on the site of the former the Eastcote Arms pub in Harrow, north west London

Clad in grey brick, the 3,800m² scheme for developer Hycgan ranges in height from one to five storeys and is the emerging practice’s largest project to date.

Work is expected to complete on the new homes by the end of 2019, the original 1939 pub by Ackworth and Montague having already been demolished.

18.02.15 nwa eastcotearms view5 final revb

18.02.15 nwa eastcotearms view5 final revb


Architect’s view 

The site sits on a corner junction with buildings on either side, the proposed plan of the development follows the urban grain and development pattern along the street with the built areas closest to the street and pavement. The southern part of the building sits broadly in line with the neighbouring four storey apartment block on Field End Road, as the site curves to the north the building steps in and out to turn the corner and also meet with the alignment of the post office building on Eastcote Lane where it becomes a one storey.

The stepping in plan is a key driver for the design, each apartment is formed from a segment which is set out from a point to the West of the site. Each segment is then rotated along the site, much like an opening fan. As the segments turn across the site, they also move in and out, stepping both to the front and back. This step allows the ground floor apartments to have a larger garden and buffer space between the rooms and the pavement. In turn the rear stepping in and out breaks up the mass and rear elevation and gives the opportunity to have a mix of balcony types which undulate around the building.

Nick willson a301 ga ground floor crop

Nick willson a301 ga ground floor crop

The stepping also provides a rhythm and articulation as the building turns the corner, the addition of winter gardens to the North and west facades also embellishes this design. As well having the stagger in plan we are also staggering the building in section with the use of brick reliefs. The staggering and undulating front facades help the building break up its appearance and view from ground level along the street. This is more effective at providing an interesting and pleasant elevation than a square building with flat facades.

The apartments are served by two full height cores which also set back from the road, providing a clear access and entrance way but also a visual break within the building. The cores serve apartments both sides and also the basement. To further enhance the break, the cores have a set back staircase which provides double height spaces to the street side.

The building has two distinct sides and these relate to the layout of the apartments but also the sun path and the local context. The north or street side facade is more convex and opening out as the fan shape splays, the south façade is more convex and closing in as the fan splays closer to a setting out point.

We have spent a good deal of time on the design of the façades and the form of the building to avoid a flat and over powering facade, this also helps reduce the buildings mass.

We are proposing a textured and well proportion frontage that staggers and folds along the elevations. The use of winter gardens and balconies ads further scale and articulation to the facades and helps break the building down so that it is not one form. The differing size of fenestration, and the alternating brick bonds will all help to reduce the scale and massing of the building. Further more the ground floor is set back from the pavement to further soften the impact at ground level, a comprehensive planting scheme will add to this further.

Use this nick willson a381 section

Use this nick willson a381 section

Project data

Location: Eastcote Lane, Harrow, London
Type of project: Private housing - multi unit. 36 flats mix of 1 and 2 bed, single and double aspect.
Client: Hycgan
Architect: Nick Willson Architects. Project team Juan Leiva, Chris Ainoo, Yen Ah Kom, Uxue Ojanguren.
Landscape: As above
Planning Consultant: CGMS
Structural Engineer: Maverick consultants
M&E consultants: Vortex
QS: Academy Consulting
Main Contractor: Hycgan
Funding: Confidential
Tender date: January 2018
Start on Site Date: 2018
Completion date: e/o 2019
GIA: total build 3,800m²
Procurement: CA/MC
Cost: Confidential 


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