Agar Grove estate is a community-oriented residential project located in London, UK. It is designed by the architects Hawkins/Brown and Mae while engineered by Stantec architects. The idea behind the design of the whole project is to provide bright new homes for family neighborhoods having safe, high quality, and good space living standards. The masterplan of the entire scheme provides about 493 affordable houses, for existing as well as new clients. The residential scheme is for tenants, shared ownership, and private homes. The scheme aimed to minimize the heating and electrical costs, delivering low heating bills and comfortable living. It is one of the large-scale passive house redevelopment schemes in London. The whole scheme focused on designing functional and efficient living. It has acquired merging on indoor and outdoor areas by providing direct access living to outdoors. The Large window openings allow spaces to be well-ventilated.

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The Concept | Agar Grove Estate

As we can see in the master plan, there are well-distributed green and open spaces all over the site. The scheme has followed the traditional concept of ‘The Street and Square pattern’. Well-separated clear pathways are connecting squares of residential patches. They also result in the formation of community public spaces. The streets provide pedestrian, cycle, and vehicular access to and from Agar Grove. The project consists of a series of terraces, villas, mansion blocks, and residential complexes facing public spaces. At the heart of the site is the newly designed Lulworth Garden square. The Hazelbury way and Agar grove consist of thirty-four stacked maisonettes which are well-ventilated. Every structure is surrounded by green patches and outdoor areas. The site has proper accessibility from all sides and is well-connected to the main road. The motto is to uplift the existing settlement into affordable and more spacious houses with larger areas. By considering fuel poverty among Camden tenants, the new refurbishment of houses is constructed to be low-energy homes.

By considering the existing pattern of dead-end routes and low connectivity, the new development has focused on a coherent network of streets and squares.

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The Materials

There is a predominant use of brick and stone facade materials after the redevelopment.

Textured brickwork is used on plinths and the tops and edges. Decorative metal works are used on doors and windows. The balustrades are adding texture and color to the balconies. A stone banding is given to the full width of balconies.

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Facade Design | Agar Grove Estate

The vertical strips of balustrades on the balconies are an interesting design element. It is creating a playful and rhythmic pattern all over the facade. A red stripe in the middle is proving to be eye-catching and is breaking the monotony. It is developing a focal point of design

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Design Philosophy

The project aims at catering to the futuristic needs of the community. The new apartments are generously sized and offer more areas. The balconies are recessed inside to provide more space and privacy. The design of Maisonettes is uplifting bedrooms from the ground level while providing direct primary access to the outdoors from living and maintaining privacy in bedrooms. In the majority of apartments, the living spaces are benefiting from south-facing aspects. The balconies of every home are full widths of facades. They provide mesmerizing views of London from the middle floors and above.

The designers have applied a planting strategy all over the site to give character to each space and provide year-round color, scent, and delight. There is a roof garden given on top of the complexes promoting biodiversity. The entrances of the residences are double-height, which allows a direct view from the building to the resident’s garden. All the stairwells and gardens are naturally ventilated and well-lit, having a touch of color and pattern.

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Energy Efficient Homes | Agar Grove Estate

There are dual-aspect dwellings, which allow cross-ventilation and natural cooling. Renewable energy is provided via a PV array. Exemplary air tightness has helped reduce heat loss and improve thermal comfort. An innovative communal mechanical ventilation with a heat recovery system is provided which has made maintenance easier and has ensured a fresh filtered air supply. A vertical riser strategy has halved hot pipe lengths thus resulting in half of the contribution to overheating. Measured data for Phase 1a gives an Energy Use Intensity of 62 kWh/m2/yr.

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The housing scheme has won many awards for its contribution to community upliftment. The project is part of the Council’s Community Investment Programme and aims to be an exemplar for the borough, with high sustainability standards and a ‘fabric-first’ approach to increase energy performance. It is located on the northeast of Camden town adjacent to two railway lines. It was originally built in 1966 in a modernist style of architecture. The new proposal was developed between 2012 and 2013. It catered to its objective of providing a safe family neighborhood and building better homes.


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