Henchion Reuter Architects, has been retained by Fingal County Council to lead a multi-disciplinary consultancy team to deliver a residential development consisting of no. 36 units across two adjacent sites at Seatown, Swords County Dublin. Both sites are in a prominent location within Major Town Centre Zoning and front onto the proposed Swords Cultural Quarter (SCQ) building currently in development.
The relationship of the proposed apartment buildings to County Hall and the proposed SCQ building has been carefully considered in terms of massing, form, and height. One of the objectives in the Swords Masterplan (2019) is to gradually build the urban scale along the gateway routes into Swords town centre.
The proposal includes two linear apartment buildings comprising of 36 apartments across 4 storeys which reinforce the existing building line and streetscape while creating an urban scale, stepping up in height to both County Hall and the proposed SCQ building. This is in line with the Urban Development and “Building heights” – Guidelines for Planning Authorities 2018 Specific Planning Policy Requirements SPPR1.
The buildings have been designed so that habitable spaces address the public street whereas the access route is via external walkways to the south, to mitigate against overlooking of adjacent residential properties along St Columcille’s Drive. All dwellings throughout the development are dual aspect for light and ventilation purposes. All ground floor dwellings have been designed with 2.7m floor to ceiling heights, to maximise natural daylight penetration into the spaces. Due to the prominent location of the site, a high-quality brick finish with full height windows to the main facades and integrated balconies with rendered finishes and metal handrails will determine the external expression.
High quality landscaping has been proposed acting as a green buffer between the road and the apartment buildings. This buffer also acts as a continuation of an existing ‘green zone’ which starts at Seatown Terrace and continues up past Aldi and now past the proposed development to County Hall. The proposal, as such, recognises the importance of high-quality, integrated landscaping which relates to the public realm, and which softens the interface between the proposed apartments and the streetscape.