Erskine's Millennium Village
A hotel and several new stores have been built including the award-winning Sainsburys "eco-superstore" designed by architects Chetwood Associates, which is 50 percent more efficient in its energy consumption than conventional supermarkets.
Within the larger plan for the peninsula, Erskine Tovatt Architects drew up the master plan for the village. Executive architects EPR oversee all phases of the development and work closely with Erskine and Rogers to ensure that work adheres to the framework of both master plans.
Phelan explains that the Erskine master plan is not prescriptive but a framework that permits ongoing flexibility. He says: "In effect the development is a blueprint for future urban living."
Village: Phase Two
Architects Proctor Matthews have been responsible for the second phase, which consists of 450 residential units arranged around three garden squares.
With interiors designed by the Conran Design Group, the accommodation demonstrates the flexibility of the master plan. The timber-framed houses located on the western side of the village overlook the central park and are close to the school, health center, and new rapid transit link.
They have modular facades and roofs of corrugated aluminum, creating a light-industrial look reminiscent of contemporary Dutch housing. Glass panels on the facade adhere to a color code: yellow marks the living spaces, blue marks the bedrooms, and green has been used for the natural-ventilation chimneys.
Even while designing within the framework of the Erskine master plan, Proctor Matthews have been able to apply their own "light and optimistic" style.
From Brownfield to Landscape
Designed by landscape architect Robert Rummey, the park is seen as the heart of the village, reaching into it through a network of green corridors, creating a natural environment for residents and a wide variety of wildlife and plant life. The park features a natural wetlands area leading down to the river.
The once desolate brownfield site is gradually being turned into a townscape of the future. How it evolves and uses its communication networks is a social evolution worth monitoring.
Sympathetic to its landscape and ecology, the architecture achieves a high standard of environmentally sustainable development.
Don Barker is a freelance writer and photographer in London, UK, who has lived and worked in Europe, Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Singapore.