Back to the 2023 Shortlist Medium Housing Development

Ellengowan Dundee - Social Housing

Sponsored by
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Ibstock 2023 0929


Location: Dundee

Brick Manufacturer: Ibstock Brick Limited

Brick Name: New Ivanhoe Cream and Glazed Bricks

Architect: Collective Architecture

Contractor: L&B Brickwork Limited

About the project

This new medium housing development at Ellengowan Drive in Dundee was on a site dear to the community. The existing homes, which were white terraces, had become iconic in the town. They were originally built in the 1920s as a temporary housing solution after the Great War. However, although they were only intended to last 25 years, they were still in use (and beloved to many) a century later.

When the decision was reluctantly taken to replace the existing homes, which no longer met modern standards and energy-efficiency expectations, Collective Architecture and Hillcrest Homes consulted closely with the community to ensure that the new development was appropriate and respectful. Local residents shared their thoughts and memories of the old community so that continuity was established in the design.

The result was an impressive £20.5 million development that will be completed in two stages. The first one, which we are concerned with here, consists of 70 energy-efficient new homes - a mix of apartments, two-bedroom cottage flats, three-bedroom terraced houses, and four-bedroom townhouses. Some properties were made available as mid-market properties and others as social homes.

Each home is constructed with high-quality bricks - a combination of Ibstock’s New Ivanhoe Creams and glazed bricks. The creams pay tribute to the previous white terraces and ensure that the development retained the sense of being one community. They also possessed the ideal tone and texture to blend with the grey/brown sandstone of nearby tenements. Their sandcreased texture also creates a lovely hand-made quality.

Meanwhile, the glazed bricks were used to create unique feature artworks at every front door. This abstract artwork, which was designed by Tom Pigeon, provides strong, distinct, attractive frontages to the pedestrian-friendly streets. It also establishes a strong sense of identity and community pride - each image reflects the botanical and industrial history of the site. The specific colours chosen were selected to compliment the brick tone and provide distinction between blocks.

Vertical stretcher bond areas create playful compositions on the elevations. Half-brick recessed bays create depth, rhythm and uniformity on the elevations to Baxter Park. Feature vertical stretcher bond areas also provide visual interest on the corners. Additionally, the design ensures that most living rooms have an excellent view to the Tay and Fife Hills beyond - another nod to the past that simultaneously improves wellbeing. Every home in the new Ellengowan community is therefore individual but belongs to a strong collective whole.

Finally, in keeping with the community-led approach, the completed new development also contains amenity housing for elderly residents and wheelchair users. Indeed, some homes were specifically adapted for these residents. Meanwhile, all existing Ellengowan tenants that wished to remain in the area were offered a new home in the regenerated community. Overall, the new Ellengowan provides outstanding social housing that equals, or possibly exceeds, quality private housing despite being delivered within a constrained funding framework.

Sponsored by Grayson Building Products

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With large stocks from reputable manufacturers, Grayson can deliver an extensive range of goods across the UK & Ireland. Grayson work in partnership with the leading manufacturers to provide expert advice to our clients. Grayson get the right products, to the right place at the right time – key for any major project to keep running on schedule.