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Housing / Hjaltland picks up awards for housing schemes

Hjaltland’s head of investment and asset management Paul Leask (left) and architect Ian Irvine (right) at the Houlland Lea scheme. Photo: HHA

TWO recent Hjaltland Housing Association projects have been recognised for their contribution to the community.

Its Holland Lea project in Sandwick was named development of the year at the recent Rural and Islands Housing Association Forum conference.

The scheme was designed by PJP Architects LLP and Mott MacDonald engineers, with the quantity surveying services provided by John Duguid Partnership.

The construction work was completed by David Smith Building Contractors. The Scottish Government provided £1.8 million in grant support.

Hjaltland’s head of investment and asset management Paul Leask said: “These twelve new family homes have been designed and constructed to a very high standard and it’s great when you finally get to see the lights on and the families moving into the community.

“It’s nice to get recognition for all the hard work the entire team have put into this project and reinforces our existing commitment to meeting the needs of our communities.”

Architect Ian Irvine said: “With the design we wanted to create a place that would not only serve the new houses at Houlland Lea, but also encourage pedestrian links to existing nearby housing.

“This was done by providing a shared surface area through the site, with the main space in the heart of the development accessed from Houlland Road.

“This space is for children to play and people to meet and is designed to slow down traffic. This is achieved with the introduction of timber planters, some with built-in seating, and low-level landscaped areas.”

Meanwhile Hjaltland’s King Harald Street project was commended recently in the Highlands and Islands Architectural Association’s social benefit award category.

Photo: HHA

This was a new category introduced to recognise social benefit for either new or existing buildings, with the judges commenting on “the car free landscape, simple planning appropriate for context with clean lines and thoughtfully laid out interiors.”

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The scheme, opposite the Islesburgh Community Centre, was designed by PJP Architects LLP and Mott MacDonald engineers, with the quantity surveying work undertaken by John Duguid Partnership.

The construction work was completed by DITT, and the Scottish Government provided £3.2 million in grant support.

Architect Karen Manson said: “With its location in the heart of the Conservation Area and directly opposite the very prominent Category B Listed Islesburgh Community Centre the site presented a challenge but also a unique opportunity to bring some new life to what had become a fairly derelict site.

“We were keen to create a strong frontage to the street to reflect the scale and pattern of the surrounding buildings and used this to provide shelter and privacy for the spaces behind.

We are delighted with the end result and feel that the new buildings sit comfortably within the existing street, providing a contemporary new addition to King Harald Street but one which is sensitive to its surroundings.”

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