Site Location Plan

Meadow Street, Preston

Following an RIBA-run open design competition, RCKa was appointed to create a new neighbourhood for the Lancashire city of Preston.

Our proposal, chosen from 73 competing entries, was the only submission to successfully reconcile a brief which called for a varied mix of unit types, high levels of car parking, with a challenging site sandwiched between an 1970’s housing estate and a sensitive conservation area and listed church.

RCKa worked closely with representatives from the local community, including residents, business owners, council officers and faith leaders, to develop the initial proposals from a concept design to a detailed planning application and tender scheme.

We were able to overcome initial resistance to our proposals through holding frequent design workshops and feedback sessions during which we ensured that the community was able to positively influence the design.

"The house plans were well designed and suitable for the BME community, and the team had obviously got a good grasp of the site which was reflected in a well presented analysis. The issue of parking was handled ingeniously by bringing the cars into the garden spaces."
Judges' comments at competition stage
Site Layout Plan

An interlocking arrangement for the rear gardens, coupled with staggered terraced and semi-detached houses, allowed us to push the homes facing Meadow Street, and those facing onto the mews to the north, closer together, using carefully-considered window locations to avoid compromising privacy.

A high requirement for car parking on the site meant that there existed a potential conflict between creating a safe, secure environment, and a desire for vehicles to be left close to residents’ homes. This was solved through the provision of a shared-surface parking courtyard to the north, from which the rear gardens of those houses facing Meadow Street could be reached. In this way, no driveways needed to open directly onto the busy highway, and all waste and recycling, play space and a new pedestrian route through from St Paul’s Road to St Ignatius Square, could be included to encourage incidental meetings between neighbours and achieve passive surveillance of the public realm.

Mews elevation
"The two lead architects both fit the ethos of Community Gateway and the local community and gave a clear indication that they would listen to the local residents and be comfortable working with them. "
Judges' comments at competition stage

The scheme was embedded within the City of Preston’s urban design guidance as an exemplar project for community engagement and site analysis, and in 2011 went on to win a Housing Design Award in 2011 in the project category.