The proposal sits within an area of the city which has, and continues to, experience significant new development over recent years, characterised by the “cheek by jowl” of various uses, scale of building and formal modelling. The site could be said to illustrate the varied nature of the urban grain within the depth of its block, concurrently fronting onto the urban condition of McDonald road and the sub-urban nature of the two storey housing to McDonald Place. It also offers a wonderful potential to connect back to the line of the city with fantastic views to the south and take advantage of its south facing aspect.
The development reinforces the existing block pattern establishing an immediate connection to McDonald Road. The commercial units to this face retain their main access from the front to keep a connection with the street. Like wise, access to flats are via communal access direct from the pavement. Taking the traditional tenement form with its single secure entry as a starting point the scheme provides for a mix of uses and residential types; flatted development for singles, couples and families, with housing association units to ensure variety of occupants and neighbourhood environment.
The intention of the massing and the distribution of the building materials is to maximise light to the interior and views from flats, as well as to afford glimpses and views into the interior from the street, thereby breaking up the scale of the development. The provision of decks overlooking the street helps to provide a number of recognisable spaces that become part of the occupant’s mode of living and, at a larger scale, provide reference points that enable the scheme to be legible and understandable.