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Abode, Newhall :

a residential community with a distinctive identity inspired by traditonal English market towns

Countryside Properties
Contract value:
£10 million
Harlow, Essex
Completion date:
Project status:
2005 National Home Builder Design Award, Best Large Housing Development
2005 RIBA National Award
2004 RIBA Stirling Prize – Longlist (13 projects)
2004 Housing Project Award, Overall winner and Best Development by a medium sized housebuilder
2003 Building for Life Gold Standard

Newhall is a new urban quarter providing mixed-tenure homes, employment space, two schools and local amenities for 6,000 residents. The design for an early land parcel of 86 mixed-tenure family homes and apartments responds to a desire to harness the scale and character of the traditional English market town with a contemporary combination of urban space and dwelling typology.

Internally, the dwelling layouts provide flexible accommodation in response to the ever changing patterns of twenty-first century domestic life. As situations change, the buildings can adapt to new living patterns without the need to relocate. Homeworking areas, hobby rooms and ‘extended family’ suites can all be accommodated within the three-dimensional framework for each home.

The design concept looked to the traditional morphology of English rural settlements and in particular the role of the ‘garden wall’ in creating spatial containment and street frontage continuity. The inclusion of this continuous architectural device enables the careful integration of surface level car parking behind garden boundaries, within discrete garages or tucked beneath piano nobile living levels.