Brick 14 Public use Category Winner
BDA Winner 2016 (Best Small Housing Development)
ARCHITECTS: Foster Lomas
LOCATION: London, England
BUILDING’S PURPOSE: Family Houses
FLOOR AREA: 370m2
COMPLETION DATE: 01.12.15
BRICK TYPE: Facing brick (Forum Smoked Prata)
The project consists of four, high-performance family houses on an awkward back land site surrounded by Victorian terraces. The project demonstrates the potential to create contextually driven, high-quality, sustainable architecture, locked within back land sites throughout London.
Accessed via a narrow path, the site was previously used as craftsmen studios, but more recently as residential garages. Set back from the entrance path, the buildings create a natural courtyard within their urban context. The material palette was inspired by the context. The new brick cladding continues the language of the site whilst subtly contrasting with the existing worn perimeter walls that enclose the site. The existing walls themselves have been left untouched - marked with paint and fixings that record their former use. A busy mix of yellow London stock houses, industrial red brick structures and rough garden walls surround the site. Foster Lomas’ approach has been to differentiate the new dwellings - choosing a brick that provides a softer, more consistent colour and texture that provides subtle contrast for the contemporary dwellings.
The brick facades are articulated with contemporary dog-tooth detailing - inspired by the traditional eaves details of neighbouring Victorian terraces. This detail defines proportion and gives variation within the facades whilst maintaining the simple material palette of the site. This detailing has been used as a motif that is continued through the project and incorporated into the patterned steel entrance porches.
Two types of Wienerberger Forum Smoked Prata brick have been utilised. A standard 215 x 102.5 x 65mm sets out the module for the facades whilst an identical solid brick - hand cut and laid on site - has been used to create the contemporary dog-tooth detail. Movement joints are concealed in the internal corners to allow a complete and uninterrupted facade which is completed with a bespoke white sand mortar.
Elsewhere timber, concrete, brick and steel are combined to draw from the sites former uses: classic car restoration, artist studios and furniture makers. Inside the palette is refined to create a contrasting backdrop for modern living which affords personalisation by the occupants.
There are two house types; type 1 is a 2 storey terrace unit with 3 bedrooms at first floor and an open plan living / kitchen / dining space at ground floor whereas type 2 is a detached property with 2 bedrooms, bathrooms and a courtyard at lower ground and split level living spaces and a bedroom at ground floor level.
The houses are constructed using super insulated prefabricated timber frames with the brick enveloping the outside walls. This structure has been combined with triple glazed windows/doors, a heat recovery ventilation system and bio-diverse carbon-capturing roof – allowing the project to exceed the environmental and sustainability goals set for it.
The houses were designed to provide visual connectivity to the gardens and common space. Every room in the house is day lit and – combined with 3m floor to ceiling heights - provide generous living spaces.
BDA Winner 2016 (Best Urban Regeneration Project) Brickwork Subcontractor: City Brickwork (UK) Ltd