Encouraging the use of traditional materials both to reflect the vernacular and spread the warmth of development locally.
The materials we choose, and how we use them, are key contributors to place making and reflecting local tradition. While appearance and the propensity to age well are important considerations it is a happy coincidence that the use of local materials is valuable in other ways. It makes no sense to drag heavy materials long distances in terms of carbon emissions and one way in which new development can contribute is to procure carefully within the local economy.
In taking trouble over the use of materials it follows that care is also needed in maintenance and where change is proposed. In simple terms that means using the same materials and adopting a regime of regular maintenance.
While we hope that natural materials used in construction should last well and need little maintenance timber windows and doors present a different challenge. The timber used by the Edwardians lasted very well providing it was painted and maintained. Many original windows from that era, and indeed of earlier periods, remain sound today. Modern timber does not last so well reflecting the more utilitarian approach of the contemporary world. The Ashfield Partnership is looking at uPVC windows but as yet is not satisfied that this approach is feasible in terms of aesthetics and sustainability. As a result the Ashfield Estate will not give consent to change timber windows to uPVC but this will be kept under review.
Much of the character is in the detail which helps to enliven relatively understated design. There is variety within these details and the matters covered below aim to highlight what is important so as to help guide where any change is contemplated. If a particular challenge has not been addressed here then do ask the Ashfield Estate before finalising your proposals.
Each building at Luzborough, Hoe Lane, and Whitenap has been, or will be, designed not so much to stand out but to contribute to making the place. Phases and streets may reveal a particular character but they will conform to the overall Masterplan which aims to secure the traditional Hampshire, specifically the Test Valley, vernacular.
The key point here is to think not about the individual building but how that building contributes to the place making of the terrace, street, or square. In other words a set of unified buildings can be ruined by some individual elaboration or change. The loss of symmetry or more general coherence can affect the whole. To that extent change to a part of the piece has to be considered in the round.
Terraced housing is often thought of as a rung down from detached or even semi-detached composition.
Yet the grandest squares in London and streets in the great provincial towns and cities are often terraced. This form of development is highly efficient both in terms of the density achieved and the sustainability accrued through the use of materials and the thermal envelope. If some houses in the best streets in Bath or Belgravia had been modified by the Victorians by the introduction of bay windows then the quality of the place would have been compromised. The same thought is relevant today.