Location: Islington, London, UK
Client: Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association, West London Mission
Consultants:Engineering Contract Consultants LLP, R.H. Horwitz Structural EngineersK
Contractor: Higgins Construction
Contract Sum: £3M

[ 1003 ]

Too often social housing catches the eye with its bleakness, or with a kind of garish cheerfulness which actually heightens with irony the sense of deprivation. Completing in 2012, this project explores an alternative aesthetic: inconspicuous quality ‘background’ housing, speaking neither of low aspiration or top-down ‘aesthetic experiment’.

West London Mission and Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA - an NRA member). The scheme involved the demolition of the existing two storey care home and construction of a new-build four-storey supported and affordable housing: The project is based on the innovative redistribution of the land plots and massing orientation to fund the project and fully optimise the site and client brief.


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Location: Islington, London
Client: Peabody

[ 1311 ]

The overall accommodation program is broken down and expressed as individual buildings addressing the two street frontages of St John’s Grove and Brookside Road. To Brookside Road, four 1-bed apartments are placed whose ground floor mass continues to St John’s Grove to create a plinth which contains two 2-bed apartments with gardens front and back. Across the plinth then stand two 2-bed maisonettes articulated as individual architectural forms facing St John’s Grove.

Whilst one scheme, the apartments take on the feeling of individual houses. There are no common entries, halls, or stairs. Private outdoor amenity space is generous. Discrete massing permits living spaces to have double or triple aspect. 


The scheme responds carefully to the streetscape context. Two storeys only to Brookside Road are proposed, reflecting its smaller scale. To St John’s Grove the three tall storey context is adopted, as is the more pronounced architectural formality.The proposed ground floor apartments have generous ceiling heights of 3.125m, increasing daylight penetration and responding to the higher ground floor heights of the Locally Listed houses opposite. In plan, the proposed plinth maintains the adjacent building line. The existing large tree is preserved.

Regarding standards, the apartment layouts met Lifetime Homes, Code for Sustainable Homes 4, and the London Housing Standards. A 2-bed fully wheelchair accessible (Habinteg compliant) ground floor apartment with off-street access and own carport is provided to St John’s Grove. No principal windows face 30 St John’s Grove, or are within 21 m of other property’s windows.

The design is structurally simple and contains no cantilevers. Proposed envelope thicknesses accommodate U-values of ≤ 0.15 W/m²K (Passivhaus standard).

The overall approach of separating architectural volumes as well as street access readily lends itself to flexibility in the plot’s future tenure strategy. The proposed maisonettes would be attractive to the private market for example.


Location: Järvenpää, Finland
Client: Järvenpää Municipality

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Location: Chiswick, London, UK
Client: West Green Construction Ltd

[ 0420 ]

Originally a goods yard and lay-by adjacent to an active railway station, the triangular site is here transformed to accommodate nine one-bedroom units each with private external space. The challenge of the site shape and the architectural design of the units (together with its solutions to acoustic, access, and overlooking issues) creates a unique development.


Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Client: Ministry of Housing and Construction

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Location: London
Client: Urban Practitioners

[ 0601 ]

A mixed use building with small commercial at ground floor and residential to upper floors on an inner-city London site. A new ground plane of amenity space for residents is formed over the commercial parking in the central block area. Units are clustered in groups around cores and provided with generous private outdoor space.