The Vaux neighbourhood, which forms the first phase of Riverside Sunderland’s transformation has been shortlisted for a Housing Design Award. The awards seek to reward best practice in the housing sector and set strong standards for housing design with support from central government, local authorities, housing companies and the architecture profession.
Vaux, which includes detailed designs by Mawson Kerr Architects, has been designed as an exemplar of high-density city living and working. 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 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 have home working space and private multi-level outdoor amenity space. Parking is located offsite in ‘car barns’ allowing the streets to become the focus of community life. Designed to promote positive external activity and interaction; 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.
Vaux is part of a wider City commitment to become a low-carbon economy, be carbon neutral by 2030, be digitally connected, enable people to live healthier lives, provide access to natural assets and deliver clean, green and safe neighbourhoods. Due to be completed in time for the Sunderland Future Living Expo, a public event that will showcase a new way of city living and the transformation of Riverside Sunderland into one of the UK’s most sustainable and liveable cities for the 21st Century. Incorporating Sunderland’s first passivhaus development this car free development aims to be an exemplar of sustainable living.