Morris + Company’s affordable rental housing development has just been given planning permission by a virtual committee. Located in Barking and Dagenham, the modern 56 high-quality affordable rental homes are designed for “residents ranging from single occupants to couples and families”.
In order to procreate a balanced new community, within the wider Becontree estate, Morris + Company has designed an affordable housing project, including the refurbishment of the former Barking Library building as a community center and the creation of a brand new multi-use adjacent community building.
Consisting of one- to three-story mews houses and three- to four-story apartment blocks, each with its own front door entrance, the new street encourages social interactions. With interspersed open spaces, ranging from private gardens, balconies, and terraces, to shared communal spaces, the intervention encourages a sense of communality.
The U-shaped site, formerly occupied by garages, two disused community halls, and a single residential property, will be transformed into an affordable rental housing development, with sixteen of its units part of the London Affordable Rent homes; a low-cost rental rate set by the Greater London Authority.
What struck us on this project was the Becontree residents' appreciation that affordable housing was urgently needed for their community. The not-in-my-back-yard attitude was not found here, and we're immensely proud that we've been able to create resilient housing that is an extension of the character and qualities of this community. -- Miranda MacLaren, Director at Morris + Company
Aiming to reduce energy consumption and improve the performance of the buildings, Morris + Company is integrating high-quality designs and passive principles into the fabric and architecture of the mews. Developed by BeFirst, the project caters to London’s growing community of long-term renters. Implementing large windows, high ceilings, natural ventilation, views to trees and green spaces, acoustic insulation, and visual shielding for privacy, the structure has been conceived around contemporary concepts of quality living conditions.
Articulated around sunlight, the building puts in place three-story terraced houses, on the street, two low-rise apartment blocks running parallel, and a larger apartment block running along the west side of the site. Featuring pitched roofs, gables and dormers, with a palette of reddish brickwork, clay tiles, precast concrete, powder-coated metalwork and painted timber, the project blends with the architectural language of Becontree Estate. The playful use of colors will animate the regular shape of the building and generate a lively streetscape.
Morris and Company has produced an outstanding development which is in keeping with Barking and Dagenham’s proud tradition of building quality affordable housing for ordinary working Londoners. […] The design came from working closely with residents and takes its cues from the cottage estate style of the pioneering Becontree Estate within which the development is located. -- Jacob Willson, Head of Design at Be First.