rpa:group were engaged as Architects and Lead Designers on a scheme to provide 150 apartments in a variety of dwelling types and tenures, on a site located on a prominent corner opposite Elstree Film Studios in Borehamwood.
The scheme required the use of a contemporary design approach that enhanced the existing streetscape and needed to reflect and respond to its particular location. The main constraints and opportunities of the site were given careful consideration, with particular focus given to its relationship to neighbouring properties and other recent residential and mixed residential developments along Elstree Way. We proposed a building with a suitable use, scale and massing for this corner location, helping to create an iconic new landmark for the area.
A key consideration in the design process was to create a scheme with a clear top, middle and bottom, which has been achieved through techniques that include a tall corner element, to provide a strong architectural statement at the key junction. Smaller elements at the South and North end elevations complement the adjacent lower building heights. Double height openings at Ground and First Floor, enhanced with varied detailing, help to define a clear ‘base’ to the scheme. Glass setbacks on top storeys of the side wings help reduce perceived scale of building and provide a clear ‘top’ to the scheme. Used between principle elements, glass setbacks also help to break up the sheer scale of the building.
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