‘Living with Water’ resilient housing competition win in Hull

We are really pleased to announce that we have been awarded first prize in Kingston upon Hull’s ‘Living with Water’ housing competition. Focusing on two site Humber Quays West (1.7 ha) and Hull Arena (1.5 ha) alongside and nearby the Humber, our proposal proposes a radical solution to deliver new flood resilient housing. Whilst the landscape and SUDs can support intensive rainfall across the site, the basements provide both a car free environment year round and in extreme conditions such a breaches act as a large holding tank. With 90% of Hull below the high-tide line, we believe that any redevelopment of waterfront sites should be considered as urban infrastructure to provide flood defenses beyond their isolated site.

Living with Water

Since June 2007, Hull saw 100mm of rainfall : a months worth in just one day. Flood defenses on the Humber were breached as water levels decrease from the waterfront to the City Centre resulting in damaging floods. Flooding will be an increasing phenomenon with rising water levels and greater fluctuation and extreme conditions in weather owing to global warming.

As a result the ‘Living with Water’ partnership was formed between the Environment Agency, Hull and East Riding Councils and Yorkshire Water to improve the resilience of the flooding in the region.

Flood Resilient Housing in Hull

With upto 98% of Hull considered a high risk for flooding, the Citys future depends on its ability to change to find new urban forms that are sensitive adaptive to increasing extreme weather conditions. Our proposal propose a range from simple to radical steps from defensive measure to ones which accept living with water as the future.

Small changes propose raising finish floor levels to above +800/1000mm through stepped primary entrances (secondary level threshold access is achieved via apartment entrances and access to raised courtyards). Mid-level changes represent highly absorptive landscape through soft planting through to hard flood-able sunken play areas which act as holding ponds during extreme conditions. At a more radical level, the project proposes interconnected sacrificial basement car parks designed to withhold major breaches to the Humber to protect surrounding homes and the City.

More details can be read on our site or at RIBA Competitions

Press links:

Architects Journal: Emerging practice selected in Hull waterfront housing contest

Building Design: Newcastle practice wins flood-resistant housing competition

Living with Water: Winner chosen in prestigious Hull flood risk design competition

E-Architect: Harper Perry Architects win Hull ‘Living with Water’ Competition

Hull City Council News: Winner chosen in prestigious Hull flood risk design competition

Hull Daily Mail: Flood-proof housing development would look like in UK first

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