763 views Jun 27, 2019

An historic former south-coast naval fortress has been dramatically recast as a waterside housing development that is making waves in the architectural world.

Located a tranquil distance away from Portsmouth Harbour and a mere 120-minute drive from central London, the Ordnance Yard development in Gosport, Hampshire was delivered by Elite Homes and designed to take the breath away. It features nine, ultra-modern, luxury homes which not only reflect the proud heritage of their surroundings; in terms of style, comfort and sustainability they are dream-living made reality.

Ordnance Yard, which resides on the banks of the Priddy’s Hard peninsula, was born following the regeneration of a listed, 200-year-old former munitions depot. It led to a superb selection of contemporary homes being built within enormous blast walls once occupied by shell-filling and emptying rooms which powered Britain’s Victorian and wartime armouries. Sustainably-built using local materials and contractors, these thermally-efficient, open-fronted properties are a metal-clad reminder of the site’s naval heritage and a splendorous innovation in themselves. However, the two elevated houses which bookend the development are its architectural tour-de-force. Clad in a lighter, metal grey, the striking former Trotyl melting room structures appear to symbolise the bold ambition that fuelled the beautiful transformation of this once barren site.

Although separated from Portsmouth’s bustling centre by a relatively narrow stretch of water - Forton Lake, an inter-tidal site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection area for birds - Ordnance Yard is a world away from the bump and grind of everyday urban life. The site lies within the Priddy’s Hard Conservation Wildlife Area. From the peninsula’s peaceful shore a seagull’s cry or the muffled bellow of a ship’s horn, as it passes far on the horizon, evoke a tantalisingly-diametric sense of belonging and escape. For this is a place to live, relax, explore and discover; befitting of the modern mantra for residential environments which enhance the health and well-being of occupants.

As well as bearing an inspiring aesthetic, the homes are a benchmark for comfortable, sustainable living. Each exceeds building regulation levels for energy performance due to a plethora of carbon-limiting features. An 8kw-capactiy air source heat pump is installed within each property along with windows specifically designed for solar gain. Expert design, augmented by quality workmanship and materials ensure low-level, U-value performance and excellent airtight readings are upheld throughout each of the nine homes. 

A standalone development, Ordnance Yard is nonetheless the instigator for the wider regeneration of the Priddy’s Hard site. Future plans include the restoration of other buildings to create more homes as well as an armed forces museum and a gin distillery

As Priddy’s Hard gradually returns to life, it’s anticipated many jobs and much investment will follow. As the game changer for the area’s long-term emergence, Ordnance Yard is an exemplar of how architectural vision can be applied to spectacular effect in creating daring, desirable housing developments that live comfortably alongside Britain’s industrial past.