Creating micro communities on urban backlands
Architect and Project Manager – Douglas and King Architects
Planning Consultant – GF Planning
Tranport – EAS
Sustainability Consultant – PB Sustainability
Ecology Consultant – TMA
Douglas and King are currently working on numerous small sites throughout London and South East London in order to create high quality homes and communities on left over land within our urban fabric. We are leading the design for a small backland site in Forest Hill, South-east London, providing 5 high quality new homes in a sought after location. The development breaths new life into a under utilised brownfield site in an urban area, turning a service yard and storage garages, currently completely built over, into a desirable place to live. It is a car-free development, with numerous ecological advantages and the houses are highly energy efficient, creating a sustainable housing development.
The houses make use of the topography and orientation of the site, positioned carefully to reduce the impact on neighbours and surrounding trees. The entrance to the houses is on the mid level with the main living space on lower ground. A private courtyard is connected to the living space through a fully glazed wall with sliding doors, creating a strong link between the two and an external room.
The visual form of the houses is softened through the stepping of the terrace, first floor balconies, and softly pitched roofs. The massing of the terrace is broken down through the first floor breaks, splitting up the massing into smaller elements. Fragments of views and light are allowed, connecting the houses with the surrounding trees and landscape.
The houses use a brick lower floor with timber cladding above. The brick base ties the houses into the landscape, providing a strong footing and robust ground material. The timber cladding references the surrounding trees and other mews developments nearby. The combination of brick and timber is a traditional approach, but we have used it in a modern way through strong forms and clean detailing.