The Vaux neighbourhood, which forms the first phase of Riverside Sunderland’s transformation has won the Homes England Masterplanning Award at the 2022 Housing Design Awards. Vaux, masterplanned by Proctor & Matthews Architects (and including detailed designs by both Proctor & Matthews and Mawson Kerr Architects) has been designed as an exemplar of high-density city living and working for Sunderland City Council and developer Igloo Regeneration.
The neighbourhood is inspired by the history, topography and rich cultural heritage of Sunderland, whilst adopting a Smart City infrastructure, and a sustainable development model that will contribute to the city’s carbon-neutral ambition. Vaux will form the basis of a 2024 Future Living Expo championing Modern Methods of Construction, low carbon technology and renewable energy and is currently under construction with contractor Tolent.
Vaux will provide 91 houses and 41 apartments set on the edge of the dramatic River Wear gorge. The neighbourhood will extend this district up to the escarpment edge, creating a bold new silhouette inspired by Sunderland’s historic industrial skyline. The housing is arranged in five clusters creating a series of sheltered mews streets and courtyards; each with a distinctive character. Each cluster includes communal amenity spaces to encourage social interaction between neighbours and provide space for children to play close to home. Three exemplar house types inspired by historic local precedents have been designed to suit 21st century living patterns. The homes will utilise Modern Methods of Construction and a range of sustainable and low carbon technologies (including Passivhaus) and renewable energy contributing to a city-wide commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030. All homes have designated home working space and private multi-level outdoor amenity space. Designed to promote healthy lifestyles; public squares, streets and play areas for children will provide a forum for events to take place and form spaces where people can meet to take in the views of the river gorge and wider city. Parking will be located offsite in ‘car-barn’s' - an innovative strategy that will allow the streets to become the focus of community life.