Moreland Gardens: Inside Curl la Tourelle Head’s Social Housing Scheme

A pair of Danish architects from SAGA Space Architects have travelled to a remote area in Greenland to put a living habitat designed for the surface of the Moon to the test

Set in one of the London Borough of Brent’s most deprived areas, Stonebridge Ward, Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture has designed Morland Gardens: a social housing scheme that will provide more than just affordable housing. 

Scheduled to commence this autumn, the project will provide a vibrant community space with 65 new homes, 32% of which will be three-to-four bed and 12% of which will be designated for disabled residents. 

The £43m scheme aims to address London’s housing crisis by following the London Development Panel 2 (LDP2) framework. Though the project is designed to be functional and affordable, it still upholds a sense of elegance, with the architects saying that “vibrant façades address the colour, tone, massing and rhythm of the two churches either side of the development.”

The scheme will combine 100% council homes with an adult education centre, 700m2 of affordable workspaces and 2,200m2 of outdoor space. The adult education centre will become a community hub with a public café at its centre. 

Designed with sustainability at its core, the development will include an ambient loop heating system, which will lower operational CO2 by 39%. Much-needed outdoor space injects the urban corner with life, with its many rooftop gardens and sheltered courtyards cultivating biodiversity and healthy living. 

Above, the building is topped with 1,200 solar panels and green roofs, as well as a space for visitors and events. The structure will also be powered by geothermal wells, with heating provided by surplus heat from the production process.

Outside, the building will feature landscaping for visitors, where they can see into the various parts of the factory and access the roof space above.

The project also includes careful landscaping of the park beyond to enable visitors and Vesre employees to fully access and enjoy the forest.

“With Vestre we have imagined a factory that is simultaneously front of house and back of house,” said Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG.

“The radical transparency invites visitors and hikers to enjoy the whole process of manufacturing while providing the workers the thrill of working in the middle of the forest.”

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Images courtesy of Darcstudio