Clonhasten Residential Development

Clonhasten Residential Development

This scheme is formed around two significant areas of common open space intended to engender both a strong sense of community in an area of increasing residential density and a unique identity with a distinctive and elegant public front at the main entrance. It adopts a progressive approach to sustainability regarding urban design, involving pedestrian / cyclist-friendly attractive roads, slow-speed traffic movement, universal design, sustainable drainage and energy conservation, including nearly Zero Energy Building or nZEB compliance.

Project Description:

This is a proposal for a residential development of 410 units of mixed residence-type and community facilities comprising a Medical Centre, Pharmacy, Childcare Facilities and Offices as well as a road network on 15.817 hectares. This site is located in the townland of Clonhasten on the eastern edge of Enniscorthy Town, at the interface of the suburbs and the nationally important site of the most celebrated battle of the 1798 Rebellion. It is connected to the town by the R744 along its southern perimeter and by a local road to the north, both meeting further to the west of the site.

This scheme is formed around two significant areas of common open space intended to engender both a strong sense of community in an area of increasing residential density and a unique identity with a distinctive and elegant public front at the main entrance. It adopts a progressive approach to sustainability regarding urban design, involving pedestrian / cyclist-friendly attractive roads, slow-speed traffic movement, universal design, sustainable drainage and energy conservation, including nearly Zero Energy Building or nZEB compliance.

The proposal

The proposal would realise the site’s R1 zoning for New Residential use, involving a total of 410 residential units, and for Community and Education to the southwest while contributing to sequential expansion of the town. Taking the 14.661 Ha of lands zoned R1, the residential density for the entire site would, thus, be 28 units / hectare. The proposed Masterplan (Figure 4) is subdivided into the planning Phases: (Figure 5): Phase 1 comprises 97 residential units along with the non-residential components, namely, Medical Centre, Pharmacy, Offices and Childcare Facilities; and Phase 2 comprises 53 residential units.

 

Notwithstanding phasing, this proposal has been designed to achieve a unity of form as a whole, that is, morphological coherence (Figure 6).  In terms of conceptual approach and design, this proposal can be appraised in respect of: place identity and community; unity of layout and spatial experience; diversity of unit types and size.

Fostering a strong sense of Place Identity and Community

The fostering of a strong sense of community is a key objective of this development. This would benefit significantly from the creation of a clear identity, spatial coherence of the whole and its parts and

adequate provision and forming of public realm, involving communal space. Accordingly, the proposed development is structured by three primary communal components:

  • Crescent Green at the main entrance to the development, acting allegorically as a kind of head. This generous open space, defined to a large extent by the three-storey houses,

community facilities and offices, is an appropriate response to the urban scale of the town but also, in the generosity of open space provided, to the immediate suburban context.

  • Spine Road running through the site from the R744 at the south to the public road forming the eastern boundary. With its sequence of contiguous buildings and spaces, it helps to structure the body of the proposal.
  • Central Green providing a generous multi-purpose space at the heart of the proposed development which also, in its openness and form, acknowledges and recalls the renowned Battle of Vinegar Hill. Besides celebrating one of the battlefields, it creates a platform for viewing to the south the final Insurgent stand on Vinegar Hill. In a subtle manner, therefore, this open space feature creates a connection between the town and the hill, ie. it unites with the broader community of Enniscorthy in a gesture of historical commemoration.

These three components contribute to a spatial coherence intended to engender a strong sense of identity and community. Other parts of the proposal affirm this unity while also creating a specific place identity. For example, the landscaped courtyard, formed by the non-residential community facilities buildings (the Medical Centre, Pharmacy, Offices and Childcare Facilities) opens outwards to embrace a Pond in the Crescent Green, for which the landscape layout is specifically configured. Besides the cultivation of a strong sense of community within, this development anticipates an extended community beyond its boundaries through permeability and linkage to future development to the north, west and east. Thus, the built and landscaped areas should prove strong attractions to the benefit of both the new community here and those in the surrounding areas.

The strong visual identity and unity of form are also expressed externally by the frontage presented to the two public roads bounding the site. The crescent responds with a generous public open space to the R744, combining three-storey houses to the east, a sweeping two-storey colonnade stepping down to a one-storey colonnade backed by three-storey offices to the west and a rhythmic array of tall fastigiate Copper Beech and Oak trees, all combining to create a morphologically coherent and memorable gateway (Figure 7). At the opposite side of the site along the eastern boundary, the face of the development to the road constitutes a repeating sequence of landscaped and built edge, similarly establishing a coherent, unifying and rhythmic aesthetic. The landscape components there comprise tall narrow fastigiate trees on a Beech hedge ‘plinth’ that marks the ends of each of 4 no. cul-de-sacs framed between house units. This landscaping gives way on either side to a low garden wall in front of each house which and then rises to screen the rear gardens while including a folded recess to accommodate a tall fastigiate tree aligning with rear boundaries (Figure 8). These garden walls are attractively designed using a series of alternating bands of brick and render. This series is repeated rhythmically.

Unity of layout experienced sequentially from routes

The experience along this route in terms of space, form and surface treatment becomes a kind of sequential journey of discovery as one moves through the site between the two public roads that flank the site. Proposed buildings and landscaping combine to provide punctuation and articulation at key locations as well as creating a sense of anticipation and drama by alternately restricting and then revealing views, such as with the approach to and entry into the Central Green. To the east of the latter, a north-south linear park defined by an existing mature broadleaf hedgerow is also revealed running at right angles to the Spine Road. The public realm is enhanced and accentuated by the landscape design in plan and selection (tree height). The resulting distinctiveness ensures memorability and identity of the different parts of the proposal.

Regarding coherence in the form of the footprint mentioned and depicted above, this entire proposal is further unified and integrated by a hierarchy of routes and Homezones, involving different treatment of surfaces and surrounds, which will be further discussed below. Integration is also created through the relationship between different character areas in terms of façade treatment. This includes the accenting of axes and cross-axes with visual stop-ends that form visual / spatial bonds throughout the scheme as well as the projection of façade parts and varied roof height, balconies and the correspondence in form and façade design of units on opposite sides of roads and open space combined with the disposition of landscape features. It also includes the likes of corner windows, balconies, special gable design and one-storey or two-storey corner bays, particularly at more visually significant points. All of these combine to close off gables in an aesthetically pleasing manner as well as creating legibility of parts and, thus, engender a sense of orientation

existing Field Boundaries

The proposed development retains a significant proportion of the existing mature broadleaf hedgerows and stone walls (approximately 80%), incorporating them into the boundary and internal landscape layout. This is for reasons of cultural heritage and social memory of landuse and field pattern as well as for enhanced biodiversity. Indeed, much of the spatial organisation of the site is determined by the creative use of these field boundaries, including the forming of residential crescent parks that sweep in a curve to complement and soften the straightness of the hedgerow and wall

The design response was to form a large open space, namely, the Central Green at the Green Hill, surrounded in a fairly regimented manner by residential units. The proposed primary route, the Spine Road, runs through the site linking the two public roads, and skirting around the southern side of this Central Green. The Central Green caters for different uses, activities and interests. Its provision for children includes a raised mounded ‘ring-fort’ area overlooking the Spine Road and alluding to the array of canons set up by the government forces to bombard the rebel positions.

Recreation

The three largest public open spaces, namely, the Crescent Green, the Central Green and the Linear Park, afford a variety of opportunities for different modes of recreation, active and passive, individual and communal.  The Crescent Green includes the Pond for passive recreation and visual amenity and incorporates a BMX pump track. Other than these, the numerous existing mature broadleaf hedgerow trees being retained and incorporated in public open spaces will surely prove an attraction for recreational use by children and others.

  • Project date: 2019
  • Copyright: Mosart
  • Project size: 14.6 Hectares