AHR PROVIDED MASTERPLANNING AND FULL ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES FOR NEW HIGH QUALITY HOUSING AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES ON THE WALLIS FIELDS RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT, LOCATED 4KM TO THE SOUTH EAST OF MAIDSTONE IN KENT. ATTRACTIVE ARCHITECTURE AND ENHANCED PUBLIC REALM HAS TURNED A PREVIOUSLY RUN DOWN ESTATE INTO A DESIRABLE PLACE TO LIVE.
A THREE PHASE REGENERATION PROJECT, THE SCHEME PROVIDES OVER 180 NEW HOMES, A COMMUNITY CENTRE, OVER 1,000 M2 COMMERCIAL AND RETAIL SPACE AND EXTENSIVE LANDSCAPING AND HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS.
Originally built during the 1960s and 1970s, the area had fallen into decline and began to suffer from problems typical of this sort of development. The masterplan introduces a simplified layout with pedestrian orientated environment, more open spaces and dedicated parking while active street frontages provide well overlooked areas to improve community safety. Dilapidated blocks of flats were replaced with a traditional townscape and the new architecture has transformed the tired estate into neighbourhood that instils its residents with a sense of pride.
The development has obvious character, based on both contemporary architecture and local traditions in materials and landscaping. The quality of the public realm is enhanced and improved through innovative features such as individual external storage units and small parking courts, keeping the streetscape neat and attractive and creating a distinctive village feel much appreciated by residents.
Sustainability was a key consideration; the buildings rely on a fabric first approach to energy efficiency and achieved Code for Sustainable Homes level 3 without the use of any renewables. 90% of the homes are affordable rent, and all meet Lifetime Homes standard, with 10% wheelchair accessible homes.