Earlier this week we held an Informal Public Drop in session for neighbours of Knight's Walk to see the developing designs.
We had a busy evening at No.15 with 26 stakeholders and residents dropping by to see some of the design updates and discuss the next steps of the design process.
The key decisions diagram and timeline (which can be seen here) prompted some useful conversations about upcoming topics with attendees being particularly interested in more detailed information on building materials, planting and the tenure mix.
The key feedback from Stakeholders and Residents is described below:
Planters on Knight's Walk
The idea of introducing four planters on Knight's Walk was well received for three reasons; their capacity to reduce motorcycle use, their capacity to add a splash of colour to this space and their capacity to provide homes for some of the existing planting that will be disrupted by the building works.
Extending the Landscape Boundary
Everybody thought it was a good idea to extend the landscape boundary towards Kempsford road and in particular people were supportive of 'tidying up' the paving and keeping the established trees. Some attendees asked about safety and street lighting along Knight's Walk and were looking forward to hear more about this at the next public event along with updated designs and more landscaping detail.
People thought that the inclusion of a green communal space for residents was a positive improvement to the area in front of the North Block although some people still had concerns about the impact new homes will have on current parking conditions. Some residents raised queries about the road coming into Knight's Walk and how this would be made safe for pedestrians, this will be explored in more detail as part of the landscaping strategy in Stage 3.
Sunlight diagrams were shared for March 21st and December 21st comparing the existing and proposed buildings at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. Mainly attendees who live immediately North of Knight's Walk were interested in this information and whilst there were requests for diagrams to be produced at additional times of the day, most people were reassured that their homes will not be negatively impacted.
Stakeholders did not provide any specific feedback on the interiors and 1 bedroom home comparison. Overall stakeholders wanted to make sure residents were involved in the design process and were happy to see the size comparisons and the results of the study trip. It is worth pointing out the designs are not finalised and there will be more conversations on interiors in the upcoming design stage.
Facade and Form
The Architects have been exploring a ‘fabric first’ approach for the new buildings on Knight's Walk with the aim to minimise excessive heat loss and gain by optimising the design and materials of the building. This can be achieved through combinations of a simpler building form, better insulated walls, increased air-tightness, using lightweight materials, optimising window design and controlling natural ventilation.
Considering this approach, the changes to the form of the facade of the building are quite minimal, and hard to identify however stakeholders were interested to know how this approach is improving the efficiency of new homes.
If you were unable to attend the informal drop-in, all of the information can be seen at No.15 Knight's Walk every Thursday afternoon from 3-5pm.