Urban Splash: Chimney Pot Park, You never know what’s hiding…


When I started the MA I briefly started to look at terraced houses and facadism. These style housing are very common in many towns and cities as they became the prominent style of housing in the Victorian period and through the 19th century. This was mainly due to the industrial revolution and this simple design allowed them to build the same house repeatedly to create large rows.

But there is an over – supply of terraced housing and therefore many lie empty, discarded and run down.  I feel most people overlook the terraced house because they don’t accommodate the needs of the 21st century buyers due to their layout, room sizes, efficiency and need of modernisation.

So i would like you to introduce you to Chimney Pot Park, Salford which is a great example of how the typical row of terraces can be given a new lease of life. The areas of Seedley and Langworthy where lined with the typical Victorian terrace, but the area was riddled with crime and neglect. This had a serious effect with house prices in the area with the average being a mere £8,000 in 1999. But even though the price was right the over-supply of the terrace and neglect in the area more and more people where moving or living in poor conditions. Many people didn’t want to live or invest in the area and it became one of the country’s worst hit areas.

So two North West design companies joined forces to save the area from neglect and to show people the Victorian terrace could be saved. The initial plan of the councils and government was to demolish the area and rebuild the area from scratch, but due to government funding cuts and protests from the locals they decided to save the terraces with a twist.

But when driving into Chimney Pot Park you would think you where driving down the same street you was 10 years ago if you discard the crime, litter and boarded up windows that use to be there. You will still see the same Victorian terraced facades all lined up street after street in rows. But these facades are hiding a modern secret.

The design teams proposed radical, modern changes to the interior layout and design of the existing houses, but from the outside they retained the Victorian facades and street pattern. They have kept the front facades of the buildings but behind this everything else were demolished, they initially planned to keep more of the existing structure but due to costs and VAT legislations they had to demolish enough of the building to allow it to be classed as a new build. To clean up the exterior of the properties they cleaned up and re-pointed all of the brick work. They then replaced all the front doors and windows with double glazing and timber frames. The roofs have all been replaced and the old chimney stacks have been replaced with modern chimney roof lights. Apart from the chimney stacks no other radical change has happened and it’s hard to tell the difference between these terraced streets to the next.

But behind closed doors is where all of the main changes have happened with the houses also being upside down to accommodate modern living arrangements. There are 4 designs in total with 2 being mid terraced designs and the other 2 being end of terraces. The mid terraces have kept their original floor space, while the end of terraces have been knocked through combining 3 houses into 2 allow more space. The majority of the terraces however have 2 double bedrooms which are all on the ground floor alongside the family bathroom; this has a sunken bath with flooring laid over the top to also provide a multi functional shower area. The roof spaces have been opened up to allow a mezzanine level to be placed on the first floor which either accommodates a living area or kitchen depending on which property style you choose. Also leading from first floor level are decked roof terraces allowing open space to each of the homes. These outdoor spaces are extended over the undercover parking facilities found on the ground floor which is accessible from the entrance at the end of the terrace. Parking has also been a main downfall with terraced houses with many people owning a car. The usual terrace only offers off street unsecure parking facilities which are often overcrowded, this idea frees up the streets for additional parking while also addressing the need for private secure parking. The accommodation has also been left flexible to some extent with all service incorporated in the main wall next to the stairs and all remaining space left open for a variety of configurations.

I really do like this idea and think more projects of this style should be incorporated into terraced streets and underdeveloped, crime riddled areas. I also believe it just proves you never know what is hiding behind a terraced facade. People also believe there is no helping the Victorian terrace out of the 19th century and that they won’t be able to adjust these to their own private needs and that the best thing for them is to demolish them. But even though demolition may reduce costs this allows us to save the essence of the Victorian terrace.

I hope more people will catch on to this idea and we start to see more innovative terrace designs whether these are on an individual or large scale.

If you would like to read more on these please visit:

Urban splash

Mid Terrace Design        


  End of Terrace Designs



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