Back to the 2024 Shortlist Small Housing Development

The Limes

Sponsored by
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4 E8


Location: Didsbury

Brick Manufacturer: Wienerberger Limited

Brick Names: St Ives Cream Rustica, Retro Tiffany

Architects: Annabelle & Co. / Cube Architecture and Design

Brickwork Contractor:  Profiles Brickwork

About the project

The Limes is the reimagination of the site of a redundant care home into four contemporary townhouses and an apartment building that provides 19 new homes. The development is within the St James Conservation Area of Didsbury, and is curated to make a holistic public realm that connects the two building typologies.

The design team celebrated the opportunity to enhance the existing building, both visually with clean contemporary styling and technically, as a design that is net-zero ready with its high EPC ratings for both retrofit and new-build dwellings. The project aims to raise standards for retrofit and sustainability in the Northwest.

The scheme was informed by a heritage assessment, transforming a Victorian building from its tired, derelict state into a joyful development that enhances the streetscape with a clear delineation between old and new. The existing Flemish bond Victorian façade is retained and restored, whilst the new construction is sensitive and complementary, acknowledging the original character and materiality but responding in a clean, contemporary style.

It provided a sympathetic extension to the original 19th-century red brick in Retro Tiffany Stretcher bond, with a wall of soldier course as the intermediatory between contemporary and traditional brick patterns. The other typology, the townhouses, used the St Ives Cream Rustica to provide a striking look whilst remaining reticent of the St James Conservation area.

The apartment building extends the original Victorian footprint, with each floor comprising different apartment layouts tailored to maximise the natural light and views of the landscaping from each main living space. The plan creatively stitches each apartment into an efficient configuration around a central circulation core accessed through the restored, original Victorian front door.

The four contemporary townhouses designed at the rear of the site share the architectural language of the Victorian apartments, with brick used at the ground and first-floor level and the upper storey clad in zinc to break up the overall massing. Elements of the Zinc facade is recessed, providing relief to the overall volume while providing an outdoor terrace for the upstairs bedroom.

The Limes retains the existing Victorian façade of a derelict care home, retaining as much as possible to help the project reduce its CO2 emissions by 15% and achieve the local planning target. High-quality insulation has been added to the existing structure to ensure that the existing facade performed above the standards outlined in the building regulations, and the existing apartment building now achieves an EPC C rating, making it net-zero-ready.

In the new townhouses, the proposed walls are well insulated, with dual aspect windows maximising the passive solar gain from the sun path. The project has a low overall energy demand and performs strongly with a high B EPC rating. Overall, the Limes is a sensitive, sustainable mix of three brick types in one contemporary development.

Sponsored by ARC Building Solutions

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ARC Building Solutions is a specialist manufacturer of cavity fire barriers and cavity closers, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Established in 2008, ARC specialises in bringing unique and innovative products to market. Designed to solve real world on-site challenges, ARC’s products help to deliver safer and more sustainable homes and buildings. ARC’s wealth of technical experience ensures that the best solution can be identified from our comprehensive range of products.

ARC Building Solutions