Impressions of Tibby’s Triangle, Southwold « Ink & Compass


This post on Ink & Compass describes Tibby’s Triangle, a new development in Southwold, a beach town in England. From what I saw in the video and the photos, I really liked it. None of the buildings are exactly the same, but they have a similar design language which also meshes with the older fabric of the town. There is a range of sizes which creates a community which can house people of different ages, incomes, and stations in life. The site features a loose grid which connects to the outside, creating a community that is not exclusive, but an extension of the existing fabric. A new public square which features mixed-use buildings is central to the development.

Of course, the promotional video doesn’t show the bad stuff, which is why it’s important to have critical reviews like this one from Ink & Compass. The author seems to feel that too much space is given over to cars, with one space per home. This is preposterously low by American standards, but the way that it is concentrated in certain areas, such as by the flatiron building, does give it a stronger presence in some areas. The streets are essentially woonerfs, with shared pedestrian and car spaces, but the author says the pedestrians still feel like they are intruding. Similarly, some of the houses have open carports, which contributes to the feeling that cars have too much control. Also, some facades, especially those painted white, seem blank, whereas the unpainted ones have the various shades of red and the grey of the mortar to give some color. As the author says, the pros definitely outweigh the cons, but the cons are something we can learn from in the future.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

One Response to Impressions of Tibby’s Triangle, Southwold « Ink & Compass

  1. Thanks for the re-post. I would recommend checking out the rest of the Housing Design Award videos, and the site has a really nice archive of UK developments, too.

    I know that, as an American living in the UK, I am spoiled by the lower parking requirements here, and you point out that 1 space per dwelling is a pretty understandable ratio – it wasn’t the number of spaces that bothered me but their distribution. I would have preferred if the spaces could have been incorporated as street parking, 1-car enclosed garages, or resident-only parking on adjacent streets. My issue was that the parking felt disproportionately large – which is something I suspected from the video, but was confirmed by being there in person.

    Thanks for reading!

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