New dwellings, Hinton Close, Brighton – New homes for neighbourhood competition

Hinton Close, Brighton

Client: Brighton and Hove City Council

Status: Competition entry/ unbuilt

Date: July 2015

The New Homes for Neighbourhoods Programme was launched by Brighton and Hove City Council to test small sites within the Council’s portfolio. BHCC asked RIBA to manage an open design competition, the brief included four sites each with problematic physical constraints. The proposed designs were to to fit within cost parameters of £1,700.00 per sq. m and each entrant had to submit solutions for two of the four sites.

The Hinton Close site was selected by BBM as it was representative of typical suburban Brighton context and had challenging issues of overlooking, steep topography and very constricted access.

For both schemes, BBM worked with a local specialist in the supply of volumetric modular construction. The cold formed steel structural modules are fabricated off-site (fully finished internally), then transported to location where they can be craned into position, then clad to form single storey or multi-storey buildings. This technique has the advantage of reducing site construction waste, erection times, defects and cost over that of conventional forms of construction. Minimising the number of site deliveries and erection times was particularly important for the Hinton Close with its constricted access and heavily overlooked suburban context.

The designs of the flats incorporated Lifetime Home Standards including bin, buggy and bike storage along with electric car charging bays for urban car club vehicles. The designs were also analysed for energy efficiency through the Passivhaus Planning Package, indicating that energy use within the dwellings could be as low as 7 kWh/(m2a).

BBM’s interest in utilising waste and locally sourced minimally processed materials in construction identified an opportunity. By using ‘clunch’ chalk, flint and brick rubble within dry shallow gabian cages as a form of dry stone rainscreen cladding, the aesthetic created drew a natural link to the famous Brighton vernacular known as ‘bungaroosh’.

July 2015 Brighton and Hove City Council Residential, Special projects and exhibitions, Unbuilt