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Hexham Colorful Village: Final Design

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After All the process we went through, Finally, this final design created. The first thing we did when thinking of the design of this neighborhood was determining the appropriate area for cohousing, social housing and private housing. After some discussion, we decided to create co-housing on the west side of the site because the surface of this part is relatively flat and also this area get a lot of sunlight. Then, the social and private housing placed in the eastern side. We do not distinguish the specific area for social and private housing because we think those two things could be combined without having to be separated.

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Then, we started to think about how to connect these two zones. Our initial idea was to encourage every inhabitant of this neighborhood to walk more than using vehicles. Therefore, to connect those two zones we create a pedestrian road from east to west and south to north, with the center of activity in the open space of the co-housing. We want to make the area of co-housing become the main area of neighborhood.

Another thing that must be considered is how to make an exciting journey for the occupants. The thing we do is make the U-shaped layout to housing Group which is in the middle of a residential area so that public areas can be formed on the inside of that housing group. There are three pieces of public space in the form of small park that can be used by the residents to do anything. In addition, we also provide some different “pockets of activity” for the inhabitants in order to make the trip became more interesting. That “Pockets” will be outdoor exercise area, playground area and bench with colorful flower around it.

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We also intentionally do not provide parking space in the unit as a way to encourage residents to walk inside the neighborhood. However, we understand that the parking area is an important thing. Therefore, we provide some parking spots which is scattered inside the neighborhood where the spots are connected properly and within the distance that can still be tolerated,

Finally, colorful village is a big dream. In this design, we expect an lively and vibrant area can be formed so that the Elderly people which inhabit in this area do not feel lonely anymore. Not only of colorful buildings, but also from some design which I described earlier.

3 thoughts on “Hexham Colorful Village: Final Design

  1. HI Dodo. Firstly, congratulation! You have done your this project. And thank you for your sharing. I really like your concept and especially the project name. I think your concept really reflects one main function of cohousing – reduce the feeling of lonely especially for old people which is also your target group. I will also agree how you analysis the topography of the site and I like the pedestrian routes links the the west to the east. However, in terms of links and connections, I will say I think although you provide a pedestrian link, still, the link of cohousing and the rest seems a bit weak. The cohousing area seems to be isolated from the site. And also, the northern part of cohousing residents could have a long way to go when they get off the car. I understand you want to encourage a walkable community, however, consider with the local lifestyle, I believe that most residents will use their cars to for weekly shopping. It might be not convenient for them to bring the heavy shopping bags and walking home from car park. I will say a combination of on street parking and car park might be an solution.
    These are just my personal thoughts about your design and surely I might be wrong. I have to say well done anyway, and I really like your design in total.

  2. Hi Dodo, very well done on your design, I think it has the potential to be a very innovative scheme whilst meeting the needs of the people you have highlighted. If you were to read this blog out in the presentation, I am pretty sure you would get very good marks. With regards to the design that you have mentioned, using the U-Shape for the cohousing is a very good idea. Linking to a post by Shane on the design of cohousing, the U shape allows for overlooking and interaction from 3 sides, whilst one side can be seen as an entrance point, and a way a linking to the surrounding area, am I right? One thing that I find challenging and that you have mentioned is the use of cars and how you would like to encourage pedestrian movement. I think this is a very valuable thought when designing neighbourhoods, but sometimes it will not work to the same standard as you would like. Before I really start, I would like to highlight the importance of reducing car use and emphasising pedestrian movement. However, in places like Hexham, Corbridge and Prudhoe, all neighbourhoods in the Tyne Valley, they are under constant pressures from car use. Many more affluent families and retired people look to move to the Tyne valley in search of a better lifestyle whilst being within commuting distance to Newcastle, Sunderland and even Carlisle. There have been attempts else where to reduce car use, not specifically the Tyne Valley, but near Gosforth, as that too is a commuter stop. The great north park tried to introduce a park and ride scheme, although it still runs, it was never to full capacity as was predicted. Why I use this example is to relate to the need to reduce car use, whilst it is a very important concept and idea in design, there are always going to be constraints with the over reliance on car use that has plagued the 21st Century. I cannot really comment on that, because that plague has infected me and I have a heavy reliance on the car, however I do use public transport a lot more now. Great post and all the best for your presentation.

  3. This blog talk about his concept of Co-Housing project. In this blog, the writer introduce his Co-Housing concept about “Colorful Village”, which is a concept to put the different color and activities into the different pocket of site. The designer show the proposal development process and anything change in their study time. I think that it is a good approach to share the study experience with others. The readers can give some advises to him and learn some knowledge and new ideas from the writer by using the platform of blog. Besides some words to introduce the project, he also show some beautiful maps and pictures to explain his concept of Co-Housing. The summary of past work will be useful for him in the future study. I hope that I will follow him to show my project when it is finished and obtaining some helpful advise from others.

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