Affordable housing facing the William Morris Gallery
Our second project for Pocket Living in Walthamstow provides 90 affordable one-bedroom homes for local first-time buyers, on a prominent site opposite Lloyd Park and the William Morris Gallery — the Grade II* listed former home of the Arts and Crafts activist.
The triangular site has contrasting contexts, with two-storey Victorian terraced houses lining streets on two sides and the arterial Forest Road as its main frontage. Our scheme sensitively negotiates these differing characters with a sculpted massing that steps up from three to five storeys on Forest Road, re-establishing the street front on all three sides.
Just like at nearby Gainsford Road, we were tasked with achieving high density within a predominantly low-rise context. This time, there were added challenges of a town centre location with heritage value, complex geometry and ground level changes. The combination of high-quality architecture with thoughtful consideration of the public realm, designed through clear consultation with the Council and local community, were key to achieving planning consent.
We have evolved the language of brick and precast concrete decorative details first developed at Gainsford Road, maintaining visual continuity across the two schemes to create a relatable identity whilst giving the new building at Forest Road a distinct character.
Inspired by the curved bay windows of the William Morris Gallery, lintels are gently concave to catch soft shadows that animate with changing light. This motif translates to bay windows and parapets, creating a scalloped ribbon that articulates the roofline. The material palette contains a mix of warm white, grey, plum, pink and red tones acknowledging the diverse colours of surrounding buildings, with a storey-height band of darker bricks forming a base to the building.
Walls with rich red-glazed ceramic tiles within a colonnade signal the main entrance, linking street front to communal courtyard. A raised corner garden facing Lloyd Park acts as a generous buffer to ground floor apartments, while creating a landscape composition with a new Tulip tree. Blank flank walls at street corners have been designated for Morris-inspired murals by local artists as part of a growing street art tradition in Walthamstow.
Whilst efficient and functional, layouts are augmented with a sense of community through a variety of shared amenities. They include two roof terraces with park views, centred around a generous, pivotal and sculptural triangular stairwell echoing the shape of the site.
- Walthamstow, London
- Project type
- Homes and mixed-use
- On site
- Floor area
- Pocket Living
- Gort Scott Team
- Jay Gort, Fiona Scott, Andrew Tam, Sela-Jaymes Taylor, Barnaby Hughes, Rohullah Kazemi, Thom Wood-Jones
- Boyer (planning), WT Partnership (QS), Whitby Wood (structures), XCO2 (building services), B|D Landscape Architects (landscape), JGA (fire), TPP (transport), 3cRisk (CDM), Picture Plane (visualiser)