London architects Broadway Malyan

This London-based global architecture practice has an amazingly diverse portfolio of buildings designed around the world.

BroadwayMalyan is driven by creating places people want to live in, and it designs and delivers sustainable, high-quality, and climate-resistant new communities and homes at all scales. The result is buildings that create a sense of place, where people want to live, work and relax.

The firm’s interdisciplinary teams can design complex large scale projects, operating in residential, education, workplace, retail, mixed-use, master planning and hospitality.

Broadway Malyan adopts a placemaking-led design approach, which it believes results in getting the most economic and social value from a project. The design process starts with a careful analysis of the brief and an understanding of the context; this could mean assessing environmental factors, character and cultural factors. Designs often use a limited palette of materials to reinforce a scheme’s form and composition; typically, three materials are involved in a building scheme, including the glazing.

The ambitious and creative scheme below demonstrates one of this firm’s innovative projects.

Master plans for Longcross Garden Village. Image: Broadway Malyan.

Longcross Garden Village, Surrey

Longcross Garden Village will be a modern, sustainable community that provides up to 1,700 new homes within an extensive and varied landscape setting, well connected locally and further afield.

For many centuries, Longcross comprised a rural Surrey landscape of fields and heaths subdivided by hedgerows and woodlands. In 1853, the architect William Pocock built Barrowhills House for himself, just below a Bronze Age barrow mound on a central hilltop. Shortly afterward, the London Waterloo to Reading railway was constructed along the site’s northern boundary. Longcross was transformed during the Second World War by the use of the site and adjoining Chobham Common for tank testing, including the building of Longcross Station.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Defence acquired the site. It constructed factories and laboratories with high-speed test tracks and steep ramps, making Longcross one of the country’s most critical sites for military vehicle development. In 2001, Longcross ceased to be used for military purposes and has subsequently been repurposed as a film and television location, including Skyfall, Call the Midwife, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

This site, rich in history and with unique features from its previous uses, is now being redeveloped for a new garden village designed by Broadway Malyan for their client, Crest Nicholson plc & Aviva. The plans put forward by this architectural practice gained unanimous planning permission at the May 2024 meeting of Runnymede Borough Council’s Planning Committee.

Image: Broadway Malyan.

In a restorative approach, the layout and character of the future Longcross Garden Village were designed around the preservation and utilisation of the natural and historic green spaces and assets already present. Hedgerows and high-quality woodland areas will be retained and connected by new landscaped spaces and corridors, creating a ‘green grid’ as the landscaped setting for the new community. At the centre of Longcross Garden Village will be a 25-acre park, featuring the retained Bronze Age barrow and Barrowhills House, designed to encourage informal recreation and dog walking to minimise impacts on adjoining ecologically sensitive heathland habitats.

Image: Broadway Malyan.

Arranged around the park, five residential neighbourhoods will each have its own character:

  • Central Longcross predominantly contains houses set within an informal network of lanes and greens.
  • The Heart of Longcross will include leisure and community facilities, including a primary school and care home, as well as a variety of houses and apartments.
  • Barrow Hills Green comprises medium and larger houses around the picturesque parkland setting of Barrowhills House.
  • The Avenue comprises apartments and houses laid out around formal landscaped courtyards, shielding the site from the adjoining motorway noise.
  • Upper Kitsmead incorporates houses and apartments around formal greens and crescents, with formally composed layouts, including the retained tank testing ramps transformed into a stepped garden.

The plans include children’s play areas throughout the Village and formal recreation facilities, including sports pitches. An extensive network of footpaths and cycle routes provides sustainable and accessible connectivity across the Village and beyond, particularly realising the full benefit of the railway connection provided by Longcross Station.

Image: Broadway Malyan.

Sustainable 21st century living

Ana McMillin, Director at Broadway Malyan, summarised Longcross Garden Village as:

A place for a diverse new 21st-century community which combines the exceptional attributes of Surrey village life, the unique setting of the site, and the principles of modern-day Garden Villages. It will be a truly distinctive, unique and sustainable living and working environment.

What we like about this architectural firm’s work:

Designing buildings that are attractive to their occupants is at the forefront of Broadway Malyan’s ethos. The designers create architecture that sits comfortably in the physical world, whether urban design, residential projects or industrial design, and this combined with an emphasis on sustainable architecture, makes this firm’s work so compelling.

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