Byron Quarter Masterplan

Karakusevic Carson Architects

Harrow Council

The London Borough of Harrow

Size and use:
82,000sqm, residential
19,000sqm, community and leisure 
1,500sqm, retail and commercial


Selected awards:
Commended New London Award 2018 - Masterplans & Area Strategies
New London Award 2018 - Culture & Community - Shortlist 

The Byron Quarter masterplan is a long-term framework to deliver new leisure facilities, park improvements and 820 mixed-tenure homes in North-West London.

The project forms a pivotal piece of the ‘Building a Better Harrow’ Regeneration Programme, which seeks to develop council owned sites with a focus on quality placemaking and the creation of much needed affordable housing, employment and business opportunities for local people in Harrow.

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

Improved connectivity between Byron Quarter and the surrounding neighbourhoods is an important catalyst for these wider urban ambitions, realised through new links to Wealdstone Town Centre in the west, and the Belmont Nature trail, via the emerging ‘New Civic Centre’ site on the High Street. These connections successfully tie the project into wider strategic green networks creating more coherent routes for the community to surrounding green spaces.

The masterplan strategy also transforms connections within Byron Quarter which currently suffers from physical separation via a large carpark between existing and outmoded leisure facilities along the recreation ground edge, and nearby residents. Our masterplan proposal unlocks the site through a comprehensive re-design to create a series of well-defined public routes to fully integrate new park-front leisure into the community.

Karakusevic Carson Architects

A new east-west Leisure Boulevard unites the park with a residential neighbourhood, extending to connect with the wider area. Residential streets are re-planned north-south to maximise activity and views to Byron Recreation Ground and the new leisure buildings.

The new Leisure Boulevard creates an open and permeable entrance to the park edge, transformed with upgraded indoor and outdoor leisure facilities and a 150m multi-generational outdoor play space. Framing an entrance to the park, this lively communal space is landscaped with informal clusters of play programmes around an existing skatepark.

Landscaping and public realm extends through the park to the residential neighbourhood with tree-lined streets, shared and private gardens and community allotments. Taller residential buildings are combined with communal landscaped gardens, visible from the surrounding streets, creating a haven for residents. A new public Neighbourhood Green brings activity and greenery into the centre of the site, creating an open and enjoyable space for play and socialising.

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

Homes in the first phase of the masterplan have been designed collaboratively by three architecture practices to create variety across the neighbourhood whilst working cohesively within a shared set of design principles.

Townhouses, mansion blocks and courtyard buildings are blended throughout the scheme to create a varied urban neighbourhood with rich architectural character. New buildings respond to the scale of the surrounding townscape, creating a seamless transition from existing 2-3 storey homes into the masterplan to new family townhouses at the south.

Residential buildings across the scheme are crafted from a shared palette of red brown and neutral hand-made brickwork with aluminium metalwork and pre-cast concrete lintels and cills. Mansion blocks and the courtyard building further interpret the local vernacular with a considered approach to window and balcony proportions and ornamental banding and brickwork. Darker, textural brickwork present at ground floor helps to break down the scale of these elevations, anchor the buildings into the streetscape and frame generous communal entrances and non-residential uses.

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

Family townhouses are paired through singular tiered elevations with projecting textural brickwork to create a regular rhythm down the street, combined with corner windows and side-by-side front doors to improve passive surveillance and create opportunities for neighbours to meet.

With a focus on high-quality placemaking, upgraded leisure provision and mixed-tenure housing, our masterplan approach transforms the area into an attractive leisure-led district for the borough.

Comprehensive urban connections provide a resilient framework for these interventions to support the strategic and sustained growth of the wider area and make Byron Quarter a key part of the city.

Design Team

Lead Architect and Masterplanner: Karakusevic Carson Architects

Collaborating Architects: Gort Scott, Morris + Company

Landscaping: Periscope

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