Oaklands is a 2.2 hectare brownfield development located in Broomhouse in West Edinburgh, on the site of the former Oaklands Special Needs School. The form and detailing of the buildings were deliberately kept very simple in order to replicate the local built environment and reflect the massing and scale of the surrounding area, which is predominantly a mix of 2 and 3 storey housing and flats. The contemporary approach to fenestration provides larger openings, resulting in more interesting frontages and to provide more light into dwellings.
The final design was ultimately influenced by the surrounding area and character of Broomhouse, with the development seeking to echo the informal pattern of courts and lanes in order to provide interesting streetscapes and to create areas of different character and identity, whilst also serving to reduce vehicular speeds and create a more pedestrian friendly environment. This was achieved whilst protecting the majority of the mature trees along Broomhouse Crescent for the enjoyment of the existing and prospective local community, and creating a green edge to the development. The route into and through the site was also carefully considered, as this links the development to the open space and millennium planting to the East and makes the area more accessible and welcoming to all.
Hart Builders constructed both the Hillcrest element of the works and the housing for sale for sister company, Cruden Homes East Ltd. The site comprises 96 units in total including 49 two, three and four bedroom terraced, semi-detached and detached houses for sale through Cruden Homes and 47 units for Hillcrest Housing Association comprising 21 houses and 12 flats for mid market rent and 12 flats and 2 houses for social rent. The housing for rent and housing for sale were delivered simultaneously and all units were delivered on time and on budget.