In semester 2, we begin to work on the ‘Housing Alternative’ like co-housing, live-work houses. Park View is one of the self-research schemes that located in northeast England, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Gateshead, 3 kilometers from Newcastle city centre.
Miller Homes is the developer of the community and by the time we visited it, phase 2 is still under construction.
The whole community and the surrounding communities have used red bricks for the façade, which kind of fit in the typology but extremely lake of identity. Also, the assessment result by Building for Life criteria is not ideally:
Integrating into the neighbourhood
Well connected with main roads (: Durham Rd, E Park Rd, and Enfield Rd.)
The site is also open for pedestrians to use. It has a long stair link the site and Durham Rd. However, it does not have any wheelchair access path and does not separate the vehicle and cycle road.
2.Facilities and services
The Park View is claimed that close to many facilities: schools, nurseries, medical, bar and restaurant, leisure and arts. However, most of the facilities are not at a walkable distance, especially the restaurants and cafés.
It also adjoins Saltwell Park, a 55-acre park with gardens, woods, a boating lake, bowling greens, plus a visitor centre and cafe.
Gateshead leisure centre and Gateshead centre library are all within 500 meters, which is a walkable distance.
The Park View is near the Durham Rd, which conveys buses to both Newcastle and Whitley Bay.
Bus stop: Durham Road (Saltwell Park)
Bus lines: 21 Angel; Castle Express X21; Coaster 1; Coaster 1A; Night Bus N21; S844
4.Meeting local housing requirements
It has ten styles of units, which is a considerable mix of housing types. The development content one to two-bedroom apartments to four to five rooms homes. It meets the ‘Policy CS11 ‘Providing a Range and Choice of Housing’.
However, it is leasehold which means it might be unaffordable in the future.
Creating a place
The generic architecture with an average density, the dwellings are lacking in style and identity.
The dwellings are lacking in style and identity.
Attempt to change the window façade to make a difference with the surrounding residential housing.
A clear elevation difference from the pavement creates a sense of community.
The development sensitively blends reclaimed stone features, and the bollards are by the sculptor Anthony Gormley
6.Working with the site and its context
Not far from Saltwell Park, which has the possibility of wildlife habitats. Use the red brick as material like the surrounding residential buildings.
7.Creating well-defined streets and spaces
The main pedestrian access point is faced the Durham Rd and almost without any landscaping.
Most dwellings positioned with small landscaping.
There is no hierarchy of the road inside the community.
No particular design for street corners.
8.Easy to find your way around
Buildings are lack of diversity, but the size of the site is small.
Street & Home
9.Streets for all
The pavement is narrow. Also, it does not separate the cycling and vehicle roads. Therefore, it is not a cycle-friendly environment. Plus, the main pedestrian entrance with stairs is without a ramp for vernacular groups.
Residents have ground floor car park in their yard, but one parking plot is far not enough for a family, so there are still many cars parking on the street.
11.Public and private spaces
Fence wall well defines public and private space.
Lack of public space and facilities, for example, seats and shelters for residents to meet and talk.
Some private yard is easy to be found from the pedestrian path.
12.External storage and amenity space
It does well regarding external storage for bins and bikes. Moreover, each house has a storage room on the ground floor.
Overall, within the 12 standards for Building for Life, Park View only perform excelled in four categories. This shows that it still has lots of room for improvement.
Building for life’s 12 questions have basically covered the issues that need attention, but it cannot be said that it is comprehensive. It does mention about protect wildlife habitats and respect and make use of the existing landscape feature, but it should shed more light on sustainable. It also worth to point out that the BfL12 does not contain an evaluation criterion, which may be led to vague or too subjective judgments.