York Place and Queen Parade, Harrogate

The project locates two new houses on either side of a fine Victorian villa within the developed urbanity of Harrogate, whilst retaining and enhancing the character of the conservation area. The York Place house will be the first contemporary new build house to be constructed on The Stray, 200 acres of grass parkland that encompasses the town centre on the southern half, giving the town a uniquely green and specious feel.

York Place residence is a delicate balance of how to place a new contemporary object next to a cherished building without harming it. The result is a very elegant and thoughtful piece of architecture. It has great conceptual clarity, it is rich with ideas without being over burdened with them. While it is rigorous in resolution it retains an air of easiness and is wholly comfortable in its context.

The material language responds to the tradition of stone walling found in the area. Full height and width glazing located behind a stone grid ensures future occupants will live with the light and the warmth of the south facing aspect, while presiding over spectacular views of The Stray.

Living spaces are found at ground and lower ground floor where a large terrace provides private external amenity space in addition to the gardens. Bedrooms are located to the first floor with a full width balcony providing both privacy and amenity. 

Queen Parade residence both visually and functionally touches on architecture as site‐specific installation and as a positive addition to the conservation area, directly referencing the architecture and urban forms that surround it. The building is a contemporary three storey pavilion which connects to the dimensional geometry of the site and reflects the alignment of existing houses and the prevailing character and local pattern of streets and spaces.

The majority of the upper elevation is clad with black stained timber boards with grit stone below. Th choice of materials helps to reinforce the authentic nature of the development, ensuring that the architecture has an intelligent narrative based on both its aesthetic appearance and its reference to place.

Both houses are low energy homes using a fabric first strategy, providing a highly insulated envelope with absolute air tightness.