Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Man behind Swindon's Triangle honoured with MBE
KEVIN McCloud, of Grand Designs fame, who was the brains behind the Triangle housing development in Swindon, has been awarded an MBE for his work on sustainable buildings in the New Year’s Honours list.
His ambitious 42-home development off Northern Road, which opened to residents in 2011, was the subject of a three part feature on Channel 4 that year, when Mr McCloud, 54, said some mistakes had been made along the way.
Residents living in the development welcomed the acknowledgement of his achievements, and said they recognised what he had tried to do even if it had not quite worked.
The development was designed to be eco-friendly, with communal allotment spaces, car parking limited to one space per house, and an intranet system which carries live bus timetables.
Gary Gee, 44, of Howse Garden in the Triangle, said the environmentally friendly design should be encouraged.
“We love it here, because it is that little bit different to every other street,” he said.
“What McCloud has done is try to design a property to ensure a developer can still make money with properties that are environmentally friendly and liveable.
“He has been doing this sort of thing for years, and the fact he has now moved into developing himself, putting all his green designs into practice, means he will learn from the few mistakes made here and get even better.
“There is an allotment in the front for a kitchen garden, which some people used to start with. The whole thing is designed for people to share and create a whole community. Unfortunately most people have just withdrawn into their homes.
“There has even been a residents association, but that collapsed over the last 12 months. Everyone knew from day one this was designed for the environment, so we only have one car. We have gone from two cars down to one and I use the bus now. ”
Another resident, 36, who declined to be named, said: “The ethos of the community idea did not really take off. It did to start with but lost momentum as people started to live their lives.
“Although it hasn’t worked here very well he is being acknowledged for what he is trying to do. The community spirit is quite good here, even though it isn’t quite what he might have wanted. There are problems with parking, because this area was designed to be environmentally friendly there is only one parking space each, but most families have two cars these days.”
The resident, who holds a degree in building surveying, added: “At the end of the day he is striving to create a living space more manageable and easier for people to occupy.
“He is taking on the ideas of Le Corbusier, who said ‘a house is a machine for living in’. He is living that idea because he is trying to make the house work for the people who live in it.”
Comments are closed on this article.