Urban housing, Hackney,
London, UK, 1998

The design of this large house is concerned with developing a suitable image of housing appropriate to an urban situation. The building embodies the pragmatic timber construction and brick cladding of the early nineteenth century housing and warehouses nearby, but is stripped of applied detail and classical proportions. Known forms and materials communicate its contemporary use and the egalitarian character of shared dwellings and the project extends the tolerant urban morphology of the adjacent terrace, adapting to the curvature of the street.  

The brief required three dwelling units: a fully wheelchair accessible maisonette and two apartments on first and second floor level. The plans for the apartments are developed from the centre, with habitable rooms arranged expediently around the perimeter. Living rooms and kitchens with interconnecting doors align with large inward opening casement balcony windows that open out to the park below. The result is an adaptable and changing relationship between rooms and extended views across spaces, which give the apartments a sense of generosity.

Competition 1999
Project duration: 1999-2002
Gross internal area: 325 m2
Contract value: £350,000

Shortlisted for Civic Trust Awards 2000
Shortlisted for BDA Brick Awards 2000

Photographs: Ioana Marinescu