The Crewyard

DK Architects

Client: South Yorkshire Housing Association

Pacy and Wheatley (Contractor)

11 timber frame family houses for affordable rent located on a rural exemption site within greenbelt on the edge of the village of Grassmoor, Derbyshire. The client, South Yorkshire Housing Association, had a desire to create a development befitting this special location whilst providing much needed affordable homes.

The strength of the design is in the execution of a clear conceptual diagram. Referencing the rural edge, the design takes cues from local surrounding Farmsteads – clusters of buildings combining a large farmhouse to the front, with an assembly of agricultural buildings arranged around a hardscaped crewyard to the rear. The shared ‘crewyard’ is the key galvanising design element. This space orders and arranges houses, parking and landscape whilst creating a neighbourly environment providing a sense of containment with far-reaching views over greenbelt. Gable-fronted houses along North Wingfield Road create a distinctive identity, behind which, smaller scale houses, evoke the lower massing and character of surrounding crewyard clusters. Materiality subtly shifts from primarily brickwork on North Wingfield Road through to ship-lapped cladding within the crewyard. Prominent storey height brickwork walls wrap around the space, bridging between houses grouping buildings into a single assembly. Framed openings in the walls sensitively accommodate parking without visually impacting the space. Carefully arranged soft landscaping provides privacy and amenity to the crewyard houses without diluting the idea of a single hard-landscaped space. The result is a development which sits sensitively and proudly on the village edge and provides inspiring affordable houses which will hopefully improve people’s lives.