1st place Student

Craig More
Hillington Square Site

The Hillington Square complex forms a substantial wall to the south of the Kings Lynn town centre along the line of the historic southern edge marked by the now culverted Mill Fleet. My sketches show my pre-consultation thoughts on how this complex could be adjusted to provide a variety of homes to match the variety in the residents.

Site-wide concepts include the reintegration of the public realm with the town centre by creating thoroughfares. These new streets will be defined by the pavement-edge development of new buildings. The new buildings could contain additional flats, shared assembly rooms and an electricity generation plant. Vehicular thoroughfares alternate with shared green courtyards.

An overarching principle is that accommodation to the north of the site will be earmarked for people who enjoy a noisier life (perhaps students and sharers) while family sized and elderly people accommodation is zoned towards the calmer southern edge.

The existing layouts of the individual flats and maisonettes appear to be good but the deck access arrangement and remote staircases divorce the residents of the upper floors from the surrounding streets and gardens. My proposal subdivides the existing bulk into smaller, community scaled buildings by introducing staircases that link upper levels directly with the thoroughfares and shared green spaces. The staircases, insulated cladding and sensibly scaled windows will be designed to give each subdivision a unique appearance.

The four storey buildings will be subdivided into a maximum of four structural modules. Each building will contain at most, four family scaled ground level accessed maisonettes (these remain largely as existing) that will include direct access to a terrace and the shared garden. Upper level maisonettes are reorganised to provide one and two bedroomed flats.

The garages, studio flats and first floor flats in the five storey buildings along the northern edge will be cleared to form commercial spaces lining a new pedestrian space. The culverted Mill Fleet will be reopened and landscaped to encourage biodiversity. Residents could use these commercial spaces as workshops or start-up enterprises.

New staircases giving access to upper level one and two bedroom accommodation will frame the visually distinct subdivisions of the original building. Aside from reworking of the layouts to simplify service ducts and improve emergency escape, these flats remain largely as they are. In a similar fashion to the four storey buildings, new staircases, insulated cladding and appropriately scaled windows will be used to give each subdivision a unique appeal.