Planning ConsultantChristopher Wickham Associates
Acoustic ConsultantHepworth Acoustics
Landscape DesignD.F. Clark Bionomique
Text description provided by the architects. Clock House Gardens has transformed a derelict hotel site into an intimate community of 50 new homes on a key gateway site into Welwyn. The design responds to the 0.8ha site’s unique combination of urban and rural surroundings, with the A1(M) motorway to one side and dense woodland to the other.
Our design concept is a modern take on a walled village, with buildings formed to minimise noise and pollution from the road and maximise benefits of the site’s geometry and the neighbouring woodland. Five two and three storey buildings combine brickwork with timber cladding and together create a central shared courtyard.
Deep reveals and projected windows create a richness in the elevations and this high-quality aesthetic makes the scheme a unique yet sensitive addition to the built fabric of Welwyn.
Key to its success is the careful layering of building form: the treatment responds to the harsher environment on the edge of the site with robust brickwork, where a softer treatment of timber and glazing is applied elsewhere to respond to the woodland beyond. All homes are dual aspect to make the most of the great surrounding views.
An extensive landscaping strategy introduces planting and greenery back to the formerly hard landscaped site, with the neighbouring lush woodland brought into the scheme through the large central courtyard space. The design also introduces natural surveillance to a previously underused footpath to the north of the site and provides routes from the site to this footway, improving connectivity for residents and local people.
Housing stock in Welwyn generally consists of larger homes out of reach of first time buyers and moderate earners. To redress the balance and after consultation with the local community, Clock House Gardens is a totally flatted development of mostly one and two bedroom homes to meet the shortfall in the area and appeal to single and dual occupants and starter families. Prices ranged from £140,000 to £270,000 with the smallest unit at 50sqm and the largest at 87sqm.
Product Description. Siberian Larch is used in vertical and horizontal cladding to give a richness to the elevations and reflect the woodland context.