Alpine Place is a new mixed-use residential development made up of four blocks comprising of 144 residential units. The development also contains office accommodation, artist studios and underground car parking.
The scheme delivers much needed housing to the area of Brent, London, and provides a mix of large 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units. There are also three bedroom duplexes and four bedroom houses.
Architects Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt completed the development as their first major project. The main contractors on the project were Jaysam Contractors.
Speaking to Premier Construction Magazine, David Ayre, Director at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt said: “There is a real variety of residential accommodation within the development, which makes the scheme pretty unique. In terms of the project, we looked to increase the size of the units so we worked with our client and have gone 10% above minimum space standards and that makes for a really generous and spacious living environment.”
Having initially been approached to build out an existing concept on the site, the practice secured the Alpine Place development after convincing the client to start from first principles and to build an entirely different scheme to maximise site value.
David added: “This is a client we first became engaged with four years ago. The client had a different concept and they wanted to build that out. We went to the interview and suggested they revisit the scheme and start from scratch. We had developed some initial sketches and discovered we could get 25% more units. That’s then how we won the commission. Over four years, we worked through our scheme and proposals and went back to planning and the GLA to review and in the end we did deliver 25% more units. The client was happy and we rewarded their faith in us, as a fairly young practice at the time.”
The architectural and material quality of the development’s buildings creates a contextual and contemporary feeling, reflecting the industrial urban history of the area. Buff brick is the primary component for three of the blocks while the fourth reverses the materiality of the others and is clad in wooden veneered panels, reflecting both its orientation to the other buildings and its use as it contains a significant amount of office accommodation.
Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt was appointed on the project in November 2011. Plans for the development were submitted in September 2012, with planning permission granted in May 2013. Work started on site in July 2013 and the development was completed, ahead of schedule, in July 2015.
The development has since been nominated for a RICS award in the Residential category.
Commenting on the nomination, David said: “The nomination is a really big deal for us. It’s tough as an architectural practice to get established because you need a portfolio of built work in order to win further work. You need that track record, so for us as a studio, finally delivering a project to this scale and complexity is incredibly important and it’s something that we put a lot of hard work into.
“When we see that the residents are happy and it has achieved recognition through nominations and awards, it is a real confidence boost for the team and our studio, and it is nice to get a little bit of recognition. For us, it’s also about building on our portfolio and creating some really interesting work across the studio.
“I really hope we can go one better than last year because we were short listed for another project, so with this one I hope the judges can look at our work and see not only the design quality but also the contribution Alpine Place has made to the local community.”