Harrier Way

Harrier Way


A retirement living ‘village’ on a sensitive site on the outskirts of Petersfield, within the South Downs National Park, for McCarthy Stone.

The client brief was to create a new retirement village comprised of chalets, bungalows & apartments with communal facilities and parking. The challenge was to place that on a site in an edge of countryside location in a way that spoke to the countryside and the existing settlement.

The design uses modern vernacular language, familiar forms and materials to create a new village that transitions from a low quality suburban estate to the edge of countryside.

Uniquely due to the type of residents, the village layout utilises back to back units to enable a ‘fence free’ shared landscape, opening up views and routes through the site. Where usually private curtilage would dominate and obscure, a ruralisation which avoids domestication of the landscape is enabled by low key infrastructure and contextual landscaping utilising local species.

The site is vertically bisected by a single direction narrow lane serving small, landscaped parking courts and informal roadside parking in a home zone type environment where cars are secondary to pedestrian and cycle activity.

The chalets and bungalows initially formed farmstead courtyards enabling the larger community to be broken down where residents could identify simultaneously with smaller and larger communities. Through consultation with the SDNPA these courtyards were opened up to allow more site permeability.

Chalet units present a street scene to Harrier Way and a broken rhythm of individual, non-repeating facades to the countryside.

The apartment building is designed as a broken form to mediate scale and acts as a full stop at the northern boundary, nestled into the dominant tree line. It encloses a courtyard and provides communal facilities for the whole retirement village.

Significant to the success of this development is the open grain which enables landscape to move through and dominate the setting, allowing the development to not ‘block’ the countryside or continue the suburban sprawl, instead creating a unique and stimulating naturalistic environment in which to enjoy a controlled slice of rural Hampshire.

The idea of modulating scale from private, through semi private to public is a key driver throughout the scheme, with spaces interacting and enlivening the experience. Patios, terraces and balconies all relate to semi-public shared landscape providing controlled public access and unfettered public views through to the countryside.