Sustainable housing competition, London

Peabody Estate


Brief: to build affordable, sustainable one and two story social housing within a built-up London area.

Design:  we designed these individual one and two storey units in this staggered format to give a sense of ownership, whilst reducing an overall ‘massing’ effect of the build.  In this way, we can also minimise any loss of light to the houses on nearby Gore Road. Entry points are defined by a projecting fin wall, which also gives privacy. The articulation and orientation of the roofs, mimics the existing rear Gore Road elevation.

The key building elements conform to the green guide specification whilst the facing facades (North and South) use masonry to match the Gore Road buildings. We’ve used timber elements for the window reveals and brise soleil (solar shading) to help visually soften the buildings, whilst slate grey roofing conforms to the simple palette of materials as outlined by the Hackney Conservation Area.

At the narrowest points of the site, a central communal space with a recreational garden provides a green meeting space for the residents, together with a recycling point.

To the east of the site eight car parking spaces are reinstated together with a bike store.  The remaining two spaces are located on the western side of the development. Two accessible parking spaces are provided adjacent to the wheelchair accessible homes.

All existing routes are maintained from the properties on Gore Road.  The access routes dictate the orientation of the units with paths, between the blank and shorter facades, intersecting the development providing a connection to Morpeth Road.

The rear façade, that faces the back of the Gore Road elevation, is articulated in such a way that lessens the impact from the existing Gore Road residents.  Landscaped elements including roof gardens and terraces help to reduce the visual impact furthermore.

Innovation: The building elements are broken down into a kit of parts, allowing various combinations and differing typologies to be created. Each element within this kit has a sustainable attribute.

Sustainability: Each roof contains solar panels and has a surface area of 50m2, giving the potential for effective rain and grey water harvesting. Terraced roof areas contain vegetable gardens with food recycling and compost storage. The front façade contains a central window which provides occupants with natural daylight in the living areas with external timber brise soleil.  Smaller openings based on 20% of the floor area with duel aspect facades are maintained, with one blank façade aiding privacy to adjacent properties.   The accommodation complies with the GLA space standards.