When Adnams relocated its brewery distribution depot away from the centre of Southwold, it freed up a significant triangular site for redevelopment. Ash Sakula won the invited competition and was appointed architect for a two-part project to create a shop and cafe for the brewery, followed by a development of mixed-tenure housing.
We immersed ourselves in the speciﬁc close-grained texture of this unspoilt seaside town: alleys and ginnels, little gardens packed with plants, unexpected views, interesting corners and peculiar juxtapositions of different scales. We opened up this once-impermeable industrial site and gave it back to the town; striking it through with small-scale passages, little green spaces and streets of attractive new homes
2012 Housing Design Awards, Completed Award
2011 What House? Gold Award for Best Brownfield Development
2008 Housing Design Awards, Project Award
The organisation of the site defines a new public square around the brewery shop and cafe, while the north-east boundary relates strongly to Tibby's Green, which gives people a space in which to play, breathe and cross paths with neighbours.
At the heart of the scheme, a taller flat-iron building punctuates the development. The homes overlooking the green share a more consistent language but have pleasing deviations and subtle individualities, that straightaway makes them part of the Southwold scene.
Tibby’s Triangle has, since its completion developed into an authentic community. It is the epitome of a liveable, inter-generational neighbourhood: close-grained, heterogeneous and intimate and with a pedestrian-friendly public realm where something is always happening.
There are thirty-four houses and apartments. Ten affordable homes are pepper-potted all through the development. Every dwelling is different and all homes have access to outdoor space, either in the form of a small garden or a large roof terrace.
The scheme’s palette of materials and finishes draws on the precedents that we found in and around the town, to which we gave a contemporary edge. The buff brickwork is selectively finished with whitewash or black tar, according to maritime tradition.
Roofs are pantiled, following the local vernacular, and brick chimneys are fully functional flues and vents.
Low garden walls have panels of traditional flintwork. Less traditional touches include windows which project forward from the facade, and oversized dormers giving character to the houses overlooking the green.
The development focusses on Drayman Square, which the new houses share with the Adnams store and café.
Views out across Tibby's Way
The scheme learns from the juxtapositions of scale which are characteristic of Southwold's urbanism.
Simple materials, simply used. Pantiles, aluminium gutters and painted brick.
Windows vary, some recessed, some projecting. Opening lights are picked out in natural timber.
Tibby's Triangle is in a Conservation Area and adjacent to many listed buildings including the Grade I listed St Edmund's Church from whose tower this photo was taken.
Every home is different, its arrangement and appearance responding to the particularities of its location on the site.
Some homes are set in narrow alleys behind other houses, a Southwold way of doing things.
Role: Full architectural service from inception to completion
Client: Adnams/Hopkins Homes
Site: 0.39 hectares