Ridgeway Farm is a strategic residential site for over 700 residential units on the north east of Swindon. Developed by Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire the scheme is based around a central community hub and will include 30% affordable units, 80% of these will be affordable rent and 20% will be new build homebuy units. The scheme will also provide extra care facility and delivery of a one form entry primary school. From the outset the scheme was designed around a central core of Open Space which at its centre is to be predominantly hard landscaping encompassing a primary school, retail facilities and an integrated play scheme which links to surrounding play networks. Liz Lake Associates helped select local artists to create art installations set within the landscape design, using predominantly local craftsman this will help bring a distinct sense of place to the scheme. Due to the sites topography and soil structure LLA worked closely with the engineers to create a SUD’s network based around a series of seasonally wet/dry ponds which were set within the POS network, enhancing the scheme with natural habitats.
A contextual study was produced which included the immediate surroundings, the historic villages of Purton and Cricklade form an attractive, distinctive part of the wider area, exhibiting a strong sense of local vernacular. The traditional vernacular architecture found in these locations have influenced the architecture proposed and create an opportunity to form a strong connection with the historic parts of the area. Materials were carefully selected to respect those traditionally found in the area and will predominantly be of a natural stone finish.
The project was split into two phases of development, phase 1 is currently approved and being constructed on site. The development has a hierarchical approach utilising structural planting regimes, a more natural, semi-ornamental style to the boundaries with a more formal, grid approach to the Centre. The primary access routes are to be planted with large, semi-mature native tree species leading through the scheme to the central hub, these are to be planted in specific tree pits to ensure longevity and to provide a high structural canopy. This strong landscape structure helps to form a cohesive development which responds to its immediate context whilst having its own unique sense of place.