7N Architects, working with Hart Builders, have delivered the second phase of a mixed use masterplan for Westfield Avenue, in the west of Edinburgh. The development, completed in 2015, provides 60 affordable homes with a mix of studio flats and one, two and three bed apartments for Dunedin Canmore Housing Association.
Augmenting the principles established in the award winning first phase, the site has transformed a vacant brownfield site by the Water of Leith into a vibrant, mixed use neighbourhood. The buildings and public spaces fan out towards the Water of Leith, opening up views to the green swathe of the river from deep within the site. The site has excellent public transport provision and the development’s carbon footprint is further reduced by combined heat and power which is provided from a central energy centre.
To the front of the building a terraced landscape treatment incorporates parking and refuse storage, which mediates between the building line and the level of the road. The apartments at ground floor level are main door accessed from this landscaped space, whilst the upper floor accommodation is entered from open access decks via three shared stair and lift cores. At the rear, the apartments have access to a communal, secure garden space, which includes areas of drying greens, bench seating and cycle storage. The ground floor apartments have direct access to private patio areas which connect into this shared garden, whilst apartments at the upper levels are provided with private balconies. The material palette uses a mix of blue facing brick at ground level with coloured acrylic render above, broken up by horizontal aluminium flashing profiles. This provides a simple, robust aesthetic which is hard wearing and low maintenance.