SLO stands for Simple Living Opportunities. The project is located in Newhall, Essex and consists of 78 low-cost, prefabricated homes (26 apartments and 52 houses).
SLO set out to demonstrate that through the considered use of modern prefabricated building components, construction quality and design flexibility can evolve, helping to create a contemporary response to sensitive rural and urban contexts.
Inspired by Eric Lyon’s Span developments of the 1960s and 1970s and the growing popularity of the Slow Food movement, particularly in its emphasis on a more tranquil life, (based around good food, family and home), a series of terraced and courtyard houses evolved.
The longer external wall perimeter, generated by the courtyard plans, is key to the development of a variety of spatial relationships. A covered entrance space and courtyard have direct connection with the kitchen while the living room enjoys a dual aspect having glazed full-height doors to both garden and courtyard. Set at the ‘heart’ of all the homes is the stair and kitchen, considered together as a piece of bespoke furniture.
Slo responds to the requirements of the Newhall masterplan. The homes allow for a multitude of typologies to suit their location in the streetscape and different entrance configurations add to the variety while shared surfaces integrate parking and public realm treatments.
The facades combine a dark band of articulated vertical timber boarding at low level, while upper storeys are a combination of render or hanging clay tile depending on the location of each property or specific typology.
The pre-fabricated steel porch entrances contain integrated bin and bicycle stores and help to define an appropriate scale to the streetscape giving articulation to the public-to-private realm thresholds on each home.
Proctor and Matthews’ continuous investigation of the benefits of pre-fabricated construction spans a large range of research and built projects over the last decades, including Greenwich Millenium Village, Homegrown, Barons Place, Dale Mill and Prefabulous housing.