Queensway is a 44-unit residential scheme for leading affordable housing provider Stonewater.
Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt initially developed proposals for the Fruit & Vegetable Market Quarter in response to Southampton City Council’s city masterplan. Queensway forms one of 7 ‘VIP’ sites in the city. The Council’s development brief aspired to achieve large-scale mixed-use developments that would increase density while reinvigorating the existing poor quality urban realm. The masterplan regenerates the area through a series of interlinking new developments with a carefully considered public realm bringing vitality to the area by creating links between the High Street, medieval walls, parks and quays. The first stage of the regeneration process is led by this 44-unit residential project.
The scheme offers a new take on city centre social housing by providing a variety of housing typologies – 4-storey townhouses, 2-storey mews houses, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments – perfect for families. The townhouses, an idea previously explored in the practice’s shortlisted Tomorrow’s Townhouse entry for the British Home Awards, are split level and create generous floor to ceiling height at ground floor level, while the design minimises the depth of the building footprint, allowing the introduction of mews houses to the rear. The mews houses themselves are upside down, with living space on the first floor, opening out onto an elevated private deck. Ample amenity space is provided across the scheme with roof terraces, gardens and balconies for residents to enjoy.
The site has been set out, at the key corner of Queensway and Briton Street, so the building form wraps around the edge of the corner, forming an L-shape to house the retail unit and apartment entrance at ground floor level. A robust palette of materials, consisting of three different types of buff brickwork arranged in vertical bays, echo the area’s industrial past whilst breaking up the mass of the building. A band of charcoal brick is used at street level, broken up with splashes of colour to define entrance points, creating an active street frontage.
Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt’s involvement was up to detailed planning stage (RIBA stage 3) when the project was let to Design & Build tender.