Design makes strong connection between historical context and setting
LT Studio is working on the detailed design of the external spaces of a social housing development in Derry, Northern Ireland with Hall McKnight Architects.
The project proposes a new social housing development on the River Foyle in Derry, Northern Ireland. Working with Belfast-based architect Hall McKnight, LT Studio has designed the landscape for the residential scheme that will provide 40 apartments for housing association, Clanmil Housing.
Key to the design proposals is the strong connection between the historical significance of the site, the landscape and the building. Located close by is the Victoria Road train station which was designed by James Barton and opened in 1900, this industrial building faces the Craigavon Bridge across the River Foyle.
LT Studio has referenced the original railway line that ran through the site using a design matrix to inform the landscape design structure. The matrix acknowledges the relationship between the building alignment and the lines of the narrow gauge railway line that once passed through the site. These railway lines are imitated through the layout of flowing planting blocks.
A nearby ice house building, which was used for storing salmon before shipping, formed part of the historic Foyle Fisheries complex. The landscape has been sensitively designed recognising this important historical connection, retaining the existing slipway and tunnel to the ice house, which will be remodelled for use as office and community space.
The surface finish dimensions relate back to the narrow gauge rail widths and proposed building column offsets. Materials will be locally sourced; LT Studio has recommended limestone paving from a local Donegal quarry. Planting will be in a natural style and will feature local, native species including copses of Betula Nigra across the site.
The proposed waterfront external spaces will be semi-natural, described by LT Studio as ‘a timeless, manageable and sustainable environment.’ They will offer a series of gathering and amenity areas with river fronting views for new residents to enjoy.
‘The historic importance of the site has been acknowledged in the sensitive design approach,’ say LT Studio director Marc Dix. ‘The location of the site is unique and has been untouched for many years. This high quality development represents a benchmark for new residential accommodation in this part of Northern Ireland.’