We used the sloping topography to combine two different types of dwelling on one plot, each with a separate entrance at either side. At the lower level, entered from the south, a single-story courtyard type fills the plot and opens onto two external yards. Sitting on top of this, with access from the north we have multi-story townhouses, each benefiting from a garden planted on the roof of the single-story house below. Each dwelling then has been designed to offer the privacy and benefits of an individual house, whilst actually sharing a plot with another, thus being considerably more efficient in use of land.

Place making There are two rows of seven plots offering a total of twenty-eight residential units. These are arranged on either side of a planted communal space – an elongated square that can be accessed from all dwellings and will help foster a sense a community.

The wider parameter set by the competition gives opportunity to reflect about Milton Keynes’ car dependence and how this may be reduced. A wide belt of surface car parking surrounding the inner city has now become valuable real estate, and separating the inner town from the surrounding housing. This discourages pedestrians. These areas should be given over to higher density use, to give space for the city to grow without requiring further spatial expansion.