Thornwood is a quality suburban development of 164 apartments, terraced houses and a crèche in a carefully modulated series of building on a 1.1 hectare / 2.75 acre site. Located at a prominent junction beside a very busy main road serving the city centre, this elevated site is close to low density housing to the east and school playing fields to the north. The design solution is driven by a requirement to respect the immediate neighbours, benefit from the wonderful views to the east and the west and respond to the local authority’s desire for a gateway marker building at the southern corner.
The scheme is planned around a central landscaped courtyard over a large parking basement. Two storey terraced family housing accessed from the courtyard at first floor level, forms the eastern edge adjacent to the rear gardens of adjoining low density houses and screens the car park. The apartment buildings step up gradually from three storeys at the eastern edge to five and six storeys at the roadway boundary on the western side. An eight storey cranked slender tower creates the landmark corner.
The apartments are arranged generally around individual corridor free cores with own door duplex units and private patio areas at the lower levels and a majority of duel aspect units at the upper levels all enjoying unrestricted sea views to the east and views of the mountains to the west. Apartments are generous in size ranging from 1 and 2 beds types at the intermediate levels to 3 bed duplex units and penthouses elsewhere.
The construction of the buildings involve significant elements of ‘off site’ manufacturing. Precast structural systems predominate and the cladding is a complicated variety of infill reconstituted stone panelling. Bathroom and kitchen pods are used extensively. All units achieve a B1 / Code 4 energy rating.