We were approached by the owner of an awkward shaped piece of land in Brixton to explore the possibilities of the site and to provide a home for himself – more than the ramschackle home he has built for himself over the last 20 years from junk and materials fished out of skips. The site holds little ecological value, aside from a mature tree in its centre, which will be retained. On the entrance of the site, there is a natural gap between 2 lines of Victorian terraces, within which we are proposing a 3 storey block plus semi-basement to provide four 1 and 2 bed flats. This block is very much designed to mend the street; its elevation drawing on proportion, detailing and materials of the adjoining terraces. A palatte of London stock brick, sanstone block details, timber windows, and a metal clad subservient stair tower seek to embed the block into its urban setting.
To the rear we are proposing 2 low scale 3-bed houses, 1 storey above ground with mono-pitched metal and flat green roofs, on brick and timber slatted construction – the design responding to the different context of the rear part of the site. The upside down houses place bedrooms in the basement, each opening onto a private courtyard, whilst living, kitchen, dining and other key spaces are on the ground floor. The living spaces open up to the height of the pitched roof, clerestory glazing providing framed views of the sky and drawing light into the dwellings.
The houses will meet exceptional levels of thermal efficiency, utilise reneable energy generation on site, and with a new planted landscaping scheme complimenting the development, the ecological value of the site will be greatly improved.
The scheme is currently being considered by LB Lambeth as part of a full planning application.