Modular: 1 and 2 Bed Flats

Modular: 1 and 2 Bed Flats


1 Duck Lane, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2AE, UK

51.28300107222762 | 1.081627607345581

The first part of this project was group work and we learnt how to create a master plan that combined a variety of building functions such as education building, boarding house, student flats and residential flats. We were given a small car park which would be the location for these new buildings. Another factor to take into consideration is the ever changing need of the people, will they need school buildings in ten years time or will they need more housing etc. Adaptable layouts and buildings were key to this project.

As we were designing the master plan as our group we each asked ourselves what the site means to us and what the main characteristics which made the site what it is. We looked at the surrounding buildings and found that there were bunches of buildings but separated up, not just 1 line of continuous buildings. We also did a study of people and found that the river and riverside walk were of great importance to the site. We then tried breaking the site up into 4, a part for each of the buildings we were to locate. This created the pinwheel concept which we continued to develop.

Once we had our final layout we then had to pick a building to develop individually. I was to develop the 1 and 2 bed flats. I tried to stick to the master plan layout as much as possible as we had spent time working out sizes that worked and fit; therefore I should work hard at finding an interior layout that fit in the building.

I had 2 main themes for the design: the pinwheel and the river, both themes also dominant in the site concept. The river was a key part of the site, there was a path that lay next to it called the ‘Riverside Walk,’ and was very popular. I decided to design the edge of the flats to follow the river as it helps emphasise the path next to the river. It also gives a cool perspective as you walk along the path. I wanted to incorporate the pinwheel concept that was so key to create the site layout, into the layout of the flats. This is because the landscape is such a massive part to what makes and gives the site character I wanted to continue to emphasise its importance within the flats.

Due to the site location and extensive research into the history and climate, I chose to design the ground floor flat on the first floor due to the annual flooding on the river. It also means that all the flats have balconies and don’t have issues with pedestrians walking straight past the front window. The ground floor then becomes large recycling and waste rooms, large cycle storage as part of the environmental design encouraging no cars and only bikes on site, 1 large plant from holding rain water storage tanks and biomass boilers and 1 room which is storage but can be changed for future needs – adaptable.

The main floor plan design: On the first and second floor of every block of flats, the rooms are spread over 2 floors. This idea was taken from Le Corbusier’s Unite’d Habitation where each flat has a view from both sides of the flat. As there are great views of the cathedral on one side and the river and forestry on the other, double sided views would be very beneficial. This also creates a house feel within a flat as bedrooms and bathrooms are on one floor and kitchen living on the other. The flats are designed with lots of storage space and are also designed in modular units, every living room has laminate flooring, bedroom carpet, same sized kitchen etc. Finally the end block is a small reception to deal with issues in the flats and upstairs is a large cafe to create a community feel within the flats.

The flats are grey masonary blocks on ground floor then a timber frame, timber clad for the rest of the building. The facade has 3 main parts. The side by the bedrooms, with no balcony has simple but large windows letting plenty of natural light into the bedrooms. The centre part (and very side parts) where the extruded section where the stairs are, are completely glazed, bringing in great views as you move from one part of your flat to another. Finally the third part where the balconies lie are large folding doors not only allowing natural light in but natural ventilation too. As the section at the bottom shows, the building curves with the river but also stacks up like steps.

On at least half of the roofs of the flats there are grass roofs as part of environmental design but also to compliment the timber cladding. It also means from birds-eye-view the buildings blend in well with the surroundings which is perfect as it shows not to be too intrusive. In the centre of the roofs, there is a large sunlight where the main central staircase is.