The site is located on the Isle of Dogs in East London. The history of the area has led to a patchwork urban fabric of contrasting scales and types, with fragments of nineteenth century housing nestling between council blocks from the 1930s and speculative 1980s development of an essentially suburban type and character.
The design issues centred around how to create a building which addressed the concerns and issues of 21st century housing, while relating to the contrasting scales of the immediate context and maintaining amenity for both the existing neighbours and future residents. The proposal is for 9 flats with private car parking at Ground Level.
The architectural solution proposed is to split the building into two distinct volumes. A larger, primary, volume relates in scale and alignment to the existing Victorian building. A smaller volume responds to the scale and alignment of the neighbouring terrace. The top storey of the main volume is finished in black zinc, which relates tonally to the traditional slate roofs of the context. A slight incline in the profile of the zinc roof is precisely calculated to maintain the required level of natural light to the neighbour's gardens behind.
Two communal gardens are located one to the front and another to the rear. A series of screens formed from untreated oak slats prevent overlooking from the various gardens and terraces. It is intended that these will weather over time and develop a patina as the planting matures.
All flats have private outdoor amenity space. A series of lightweight, cantilevering steel balconies give the front elevation its predominant character and relate to the communal garden below. All internal living spaces are located with a southerly orientation.