Galley Hill, Greenleys. Early Housing in northern Milton Keynes.
October 8, 2012
The design team dealing with northern Milton Keynes was led by Nigel Lane and Wayland Tunley. They dealt with sensitive infill schemes in Stony Stratford (Cofferidge Close) and did infill projects in tightly built railway town of Wolverton including the Agora. (see Blog: Agora, Wolverton MK: February 19, 2010)
Galley Hill was one of the first large housing schemes completed in 1971-72. At this point the problems of overheated building industry became apparent. The required speed of building new houses was not available and to meet the requirements, simpler layouts were needed along with the introduction of industrialised methods of construction whenever possible.
The small groups of terraces forming the public spaces were treated in fairly homogeneous manner as far as use of colours and finishes of horizontal boarding and design of doors and windows was concerned.
However, as happened in other places, the subsequent private ownership of a large number of houses ensured an introduction of patch work of varying colours and materials to display individuality of their new owners, weakening the architectural coherence originally envisaged.
The pitched roofs helped in many ways – disasters of leaking flat roofs of southern flank housing schemes were not experienced and roof scape also helped to unify the appearance.
The densities were low and compared to modern housing developments these Parker Morris standard houses and large open spaces look almost lavish.
Buckinghamshire County Council was responsible for designing and building schools in Milton Keynes and one of their gifted architects, Brian Andrews, worked closely with MKDC planners to build a traditionally built school closely integrated with the roads and footpaths. There was some bold ‘arts and crafts’ inspired brick detailing and a friendly open layout. Unfortunately the subsequent vandalism has meant that fences and gates have denied easy access.
Greenleys housing is more formal, using car free courtyards on either side of car parking areas or courtyards large enough to bring cars into attached garages and car parking spaces. These schemes were worked out and built fairly quickly. The warm coloured bricks and pitch roofs were also a far sighted decision for this period. Landscaping, as usual is of high standards unifying the whole scheme.
Buckinghamshire County Council built another traditional looking school here. Ivor Smith built the Local Centre with Community and Sports facilities at low level and housing above.
Both are shown in the photograph below.
Filed in 70s Housing, Buckinghamshire, Education, Housing, Milton Keynes, Modern Architecture, New Town, Private Housing, Schools, Social Housing, Town Planning
Tags: Derek Walker, Housing, Milton Keynes, MK North, MKDC, Modern Architecture, Nigel Lane, Schools, Social Housing, Traditional Construction, Wayland Tunley