Haddo Yard

Denizen Works, Whitstable, 2017

 

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The front façade includes a number of blank panels enlivened by bespoke ceramic tiles 

David Barbour     Download Original

  • The front façade includes a number of blank panels enlivened by bespoke ceramic tiles    
  • Landscaping at the front of the development    
  • The distinctive gables of the main building    
  • Bricks laid in a herringbone pattern    
  • The structure is blockwork inner leaf with brick outer    
  • The flats keep to the building line of the neighbours, their roofline navigating a level between that of the shopping parade and the adjacent houses    
  • Ice cream-coloured tiles in the kitchen    
  • Haddo Yard is Denizen Works    
  • The ‘home-made’ acoustic ceiling in the ground-floor corridor consists of thin strips of black painted timber suspended below a shallow void    
  • Detail of front door    
  • Interior view    
  • Location plan    
  • Floor plans    
  • Roof plan    
  • Section AA    
  • External wall detail section    

Haddo Yard on the north Kent coast combines intelligent planning with robust detailing.

Haddo Yard is situated a few streets back from the sea front, overlooking Whitstable train station. It is the product of a collaboration between Blackmore and architect Denizen Works, an east London-based practice run by Murray Kerr.

The form of the building has its origins in a planning application for seven new flats, which Blackmore had asked local architect Blink to draw up. This, in turn, grew out of an earlier scheme for a row of three houses replacing an existing bungalow, a significant piece of planning gain achieved by Arrant Land. Denizen Works was brought on following approval and in doing so revised the plans and refined the elevations. 

The front façade – a row of three gables clad in a mix of coal-black and pale grey bricks – evokes the tar-painted fishermen’s huts found on the beach front. The front façade also includes a number of blank panels enlivened by bespoke ceramic tiles. Their subtle decorative effect is intended to echo the suburban setting of half-timbered houses with their projecting jetties and tiled porches. On the rear elevations, the same panels are finished with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. 

Behind the gabled elevation sit seven apartments, three on the ground floor with a further four on the first and second floors. The ground-floor two-bed flats are long and thin, stretching far back into the plot with rooflights over their single-storey living areas. The upper-floor flats – also two-bed – were flipped around by Denizen Works to improve daylight and reduce circulation space and now have double aspects to the north and south.

Both apartments and circulation areas are tightly planned, but careful detailing helps to offset any sense of feeling cramped. The ‘home-made’ acoustic ceiling in the ground-floor corridor consists of thin strips of black painted timber suspended below a shallow void. This gives an illusion of depth and avoids the oppressiveness of ceiling tiles or a more consistent surface finish.

The structure is blockwork inner leaf with brick outer, beam and block floors and a largely timber roof construction.

A close working relationship with the architect and contractor proved invaluable in resolving several interesting and bespoke details on this project in a way that suited both the architectural intent and the contractor’s preferred methods of working. One such detail was the exposed brick soffit over the doors, which the team wanted to form without brickslips or other specialist brickwork. This was achieved by offsetting the cavity walls between ground and first, so that the loadbearing inner leaf of the upper floors sat directly on the outer leaf of the ground floor below (which is not normally used to support vertical loads). A course of structural insulating blockwork was provided at the junction between the two to prevent thermal bridging. 

Data

  • Begun: May 2016
  • Completed: Jun 2017
  • Floor area: 458m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £800,000
  • Procurement: Bespoke contract
  • Address: Haddo Yard, Whitstable, CT5 1RD, United Kingdom

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