2nd place Professional

David Tigg Architects
Hillington Square Site

Our main intention in considering the brief was to provide a balanced mix of housing typologies and tenures, to create a sustainable urban neighbourhood that exudes a sense of quality and permanence. The idea was to provide aspirational and affordable dwellings for families, individuals and couples to live as part of a community.

Stitching Hillington Square back into the working fabric of the town was our fundamental starting point, to create a well-balanced and coherent urban master plan, considering the boundaries to the existing site and improving connectivity.

A major part of our design philosophy was to invert the existing inward looking and isolated layout to create more permeable boundaries and facilitate activities on the site that would attract not only residents but also the wider community into the site. The reintroduction of the River Gaywood along the northern boundary is intrinsic to this philosophy, creating a new identity to the upper edge of the site, ideal for pedestrian and cycle paths, a community based activity node plus directly links to the town center and a wider green route back to Kings Lynn Station.

We then developed a design strategy that envisaged upcycling the existing buildings on the site by retaining the basic structure and adding parasitic additions to build a cluster form of dwelling typologies. The cluster is made up of a five housing typologies, ranging from family house to live / work unit each with its own identity and amenity space. This provides a new contemporary identity to the site that reflects the environmental aspirations for the future as well as allowing a tenure blind development to be a realistic goal.

The importance of well considered and coherent green space is critical to the development proposals, and includes orchards, allotments, tree-lined pedestrian and cycle routes, improved community space and ecologically rich gardens. In so doing linking use directly back to the specific needs and aspirations of a new sustainable community that will engender a future cooperation and sense of ownership for residents.

Overall we believe our design strategy delivers a new identity through the architectural approach for a community that will also act as a catalyst for wider sustainable regeneration of King Lynn.

3rd place Professional

The Imaginary Rock Foundation
Hillington Square Site

Identity is the holy grail of town planners, and is generally thought to be the special reserve of organically 'grown' urban structures. The successful 'planned community' is like a fable passed down through generations  of urban design scholars with little such places in evidence. The 'Estate' defies this as beyond our very own skin there is no more definitive a sense of identity, no less eradicable a mark. Unfortunately Hillington is structurally flawed and we argue that no amount of facelifts will help resolve this.

The Imaginary Rock Foundation proposes structural change – creating micro-pockets of identity and ownership within the whole, through the differentiation of spaces and the creation of particular and positive moments. At every juncture we seek to dismantle the horrific planning failure of an unforgiving North South orientation with an under-inhabited ground floor plane comprising bedsits, garages, car-parking spaces, refuse collection points and shared spaces with little if any definition or legibility through programming.

We will create a raised plinth under which will be located all storage, parking and servicing. We will provide multiple, localised single story access stairs and give families direct connection with the 'new' ground plane. These moves will seek to address and alter or augment the uncomfortable imposed movements and relationships we have witnessed.  IRF proposes the opening of a large garden square with planted terraces descending from the raised ground.

As the creation of the square requires the destruction of Greenland House, extra self build opportunities are provided which repair the broken fabric to the north of the estate. Every tailored intervention will seek to achieve the positive appropriation of space.