home icon
home icon

HARP Southend's Bluebird  

Winner AJ awards for Housing Projects 2023

Architect - SKArchitects

Roofing merchants - All Type Specialist Roofing Suppliers

Contractors – Seeco

Photography by Billy Haynes from Miru3D

Products – Staffs blue smooth and sandfaced plain clay tiles, brown heather plain clay tiles, red sandfaced plain clay tiles, red/blue blend sandfaced plain clay tiles


a range of Dreadnought plain tiles clad Harp's Bluebird project in Southend by SKarchitects

Bluebird  is a small new supported HARP housing project for people experiencing homelessness in Southend, which aims to get residents back into independent living.

The plot for this project was tight, surrounded on all sides by residential houses, and would have had limited appeal for commercial developers due to the lack of parking space.  SKArchitects had worked previously with HARP, Southend’s homeless charity,  on another housing project and had a clear understanding of their objective to provide high quality spaces and environments which allow homeless people to feel safe and able to move forward with their lives.  Both SKArchitects and HARP were keen to create a high quality scheme that would lift the area and be both sympathetic and holistic for both residents and neighbours alike. 

Bluebird consists of 6 new Passivehaus Certified houses in a simple long linear form in Bluebird Walk.  The houses are clad in vertical Dreadnought clay roof tiles, using different coloured clay tiles to create some individuality for the individual mews houses.  Dreadnought worked together with SKAarchitects, HARP and a local ceramicist Madelaine Hanman-Murphy to create 500 bespoke “debossed” tiles which will incorporate clay “roundels” to be made in local workshops under the guidance of Madelaine, by both HARP residents and local community members.  These roundels will become a lasting piece, representing each maker’s idea of home and they will be added to the building and attached to the “debossed” tiles over time, adding a very personal touch to the scheme and at the same time raising valuable funds for HARP’s Bluebird appeal

4 different colours of Dreadnought clay tiles were used for this project and the special bespoke debossed tiles were made in each of the colours.  A circular shape about 3mm deep was carefully cut into each tile while the clay was still soft.  It was important to get the depth right so that the roundels do not sit too proud of the facade and the integrity of the tiles is not compromised.  As well as using a range of  Dreadnought colours, SKArchitects have mixed both sanded and smooth clay tiles on the same property, mixing them in well, and while it is not a common practice, it has worked well and added even more interest and texture to the façade.  

a range of Dreadnought plain clay tiles clad this new Harp Housing project in Southend by SKarchitects












Case Studies

Dreadnought Tiles is a company with an impeccable pedigree and it was a pleasure to see them continuing to thrive and innovate. Black Country craftmanship and quality at its best.” Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands

See More Testimonials >

View More Case Studies