Old Forge Road

Old Forge Road

This is a proposal for a residential development of 272 units of mixed residence-type and community facilities comprising Retail, Commercial and Childcare Facilities as well as a road network on 10.305 hectares in the northwestern suburbs of Enniscorthy Town. The proposed development is well positioned on the fringe of existing development in terms of sequential urban expansion and commuter travel along the R702 between the town centre and the N11 bypass that is nearing completion. It adjoins the existing Shingaun housing estate to the east.

Project Description:

This is a proposal for a residential development of 272 units of mixed residence-type and community facilities comprising Retail, Commercial and Childcare Facilities as well as a road network on 10.305 hectares in the northwestern suburbs of Enniscorthy Town. The proposed development is well positioned on the fringe of existing development in terms of sequential urban expansion and commuter travel along the R702 between the town centre and the N11 bypass that is nearing completion.  It adjoins the existing Shingaun housing estate to the east.

This development is formed primarily along a proposed central route, the ‘Green Spine Road’, conceived not simply as a road, but also a linear park. Fronting on to this and forming a main entrance to the entire development is a proposed Village Centre that, together with a Service Station recently completed, gives Milehouse a focus with community facilities and a distinctive urban character. This centre comprises sweeping commercial and retail frontage and a courtyard to the rear incorporating Childcare Facilities. Immediately to the southwest, the Green Spine Road partially wraps around a public park, the Pinewood Gathering with its allotments, providing a more open land-based place for community activities close to and complementing the Village Centre. The road goes further southwestwards, connecting to a significant public amenity, the Neighbourhood Park, that is currently in the planning system (Planning Application 20180027), and then further again to meet an existing Local Road, the L2030

This proposal would realise the site’s R1 zoning for New Residential use in general and the Community and Education zoning to the northwest while contributing to sequential expansion of the town. Residential density calculation is based on the total site area of 10.305Ha minus the area given to non-residential use, 0.922Ha, which results in a residential area of 9.383Ha. Taking the 272 units proposed for this area of 9.383Ha (lands zoned R1), the residential density for the entire site would, thus, be just below 29 units/Hectare (28.93 units/Ha or 11.7 units / acre).

The proposed Masterplan is subdivided into the three planning phases: Phase 1 comprises 94 residential units along with the non-residential components, namely, Retail / Office block and Childcare Facilities; Phase 2 comprises 94 residential units; and Phase 3 comprises 84 residential units. In terms of conceptual approach and design development, this proposal can be appraised in respect of place identity and community, unity of layout and spatial experience, diversity of unit types and size. Notwithstanding this phasing, this proposal has been designed to achieve a unity of form as a whole, that is, morphological coherence.

The fostering of a strong sense of community is a key objective in this proposal. This would benefit significantly from the creation of a clear identity, spatial coherence of the whole and its parts and adequate provision of public realm involving communal space. The proposed development is fundamentally identified by three primary components:

  • Village Centre at the main entrance to the development, acting allegorically as a kind of head. It is defined to a large extent by three-storey Retail and Commercial frontage with distinctive architectural expression and a landscaped courtyard to the rear comprising Childcare Facilities and a two / three-storey Apartment building. This entire centre is designed to form a modest urban node as a social and commercial hub.

Green Spine Road running through the site from the R702 to the public local road further to the south. Besides providing the primary structure and circulation route for the proposal, with its sequence of distinctive buildings and landscape features it attempts to engender a unique experience, whether by foot, bicycle or motorised vehicle.

  • Neighbourhood Park providing a generous multi-purpose recreational amenity to the south of the proposed development. Although integral to the sustainability of the development as a whole, as noted above, this component is subject to a separate and current planning application.

These three components contribute to a spatial coherence intended to engender a strong sense of identity and community. The Village Centre lying to the north, and the Neighbourhood Park lying to the south essentially ‘book-end’ the entire development currently proposed.

Unity of layout and spatial experience

Most fundamentally, unity is achieved in this proposed development by the clear hierarchical order of the Village Centre as the ‘head’ and the remainder of the ‘body’ structured by the Green Spine Road and punctuated by the Pinewood Gathering and book-ended by the Neighbourhood Park. The experience along the spinal route in terms of space, form and surface treatment becomes a kind of sequential journey of discovery as one moves through the site. Buildings and landscaping combine to facilitate mental mapping involving points of individual character and articulation at key locations as well as a sense of anticipation and drama by alternately restricting and then revealing view.

At the northern end, the modest roundabout marks the main entrance to the site, yet accented by tall columnar fastigiate trees positioned on the northern side of the R702 and flanking the western side of the Green Spine Road, opposite to the Service Station. The Village Centre is unified by the height of the buildings on either side – shops and offices comprising a three-storey façade and three-plus raised corners forming an active street front to the centre and facing on the opposite side a three-storey terraced housing likewise designed to emphasise the height, including a series of brick portals. The space between comprises a uniquely landscaped crescent island refuge.

Unity along the latter route is affirmed architecturally by residential areas alternately fronting and siding on to the road – the siding comprising gables, side walls and garden sheds designed as a piece and accented by tall fastigiate trees. The Green Spine Road, itself, is strongly characterised by a rhythmic sequence of smaller fastigiate trees

  • Project date: 2019
  • Client: Dan Morrissey
  • Copyright: Mosart
  • Project size: 10 Hectares