Lambeth, South London
In collaboration with InsideOut.
In 2013, Inside Out was commissioned to investigate an unusual site in South London and propose a new housing development. The site, a well connected leafy suburb, is ideal for new family friendly development.
In line with both planning policy and our client’s brief, we sought to optimise the use of the site, but also improve and maximise the amount of amenity. We knew that the amount of built volume would increase, but why not the usable outdoor space as well?
The bulk of the accommodation lies in an efficient block next to the street, on the site of 4 existing maisonettes. A subtle offset in the facade allows for changing floor plans as the block rises and digs down into the sloping site, while also providing some visual interest and softening the impact of the block. The living room windows were made larger and the reveals expressed more vividly to provide a sense of hierarchy, adding a further layer of interest.
After a bit of research an planning, it became clear that this streetside block could become a Passivhaus scheme with minimal uptake in costs, due to its efficient form and orientation.
In the middle of the site, we placed a smaller Mews building in the landscape, situated on the existing footprint of a parking garage. These houses helped to provide more traditional family housing, while also providing an edge to the sunken car park. This buried car park is key to the scheme’s potential success, hiding the cars out of site and providing usable, safe, communal space on top.
The paved deck above the carpark is offset by the more informal garden to the rear of the site, where no building works take place.
The material palette respects the local context while adding some vibrancy amid some uninteresting social housing schemes. A light coloured brick with corten reveals should create a material tactility and tones that work well with the surrounding greenery. By contrast, the Mews block is to be clad in charred larch, with its dark recessive tones blending in nicely with a dark basalt landscape and the shadows of the surrounding greenery.