Affordable starter homes on a site with an Arts and Crafts legacy
This project for Pocket Living provides 45 affordable one-bedroom homes for first-time buyers in Walthamstow, meeting the borough’s housing aspirations while making a lasting contribution to the area.
Built on the site of the former William Morris Technical School, the local area’s Arts and Crafts legacy and the collective living model of Warner houses provided rich design inspiration. We overcame the challenge of achieving high density within a low-rise context of typically two-storey terraced houses through a number of carefully considered moves, sensitively sculpting the building’s massing to create a composition articulated with a series of crafted decorative details.
Gort Scott translated our brief into a very successful development which fitted well within its context. The specification of good value materials coupled with superior detailing created an interesting but budget-friendly building. The project exceeded our expectations… a very positive place to own a home.Angharad Palmer, Head of Design, Pocket Living
Clear and open consultation during design development with both the planning department and local residents garnered support for our high-quality, Mayor’s Design Standard scheme. On a characterful yet unassuming residential street, the new apartment block responds positively to the streetscape by adding active frontage. At ground, an airy entrance offers a generous view through to a courtyard, while the tallest four-storey part of the building is adorned with a rooftop belvedere, giving it unexpected civic presence.
A gently inflected chevron informs a series of precast concrete elements that pick out these features animated by light and shadows that change throughout the day. Their colour matches that of the red brick and mortar to emphasise crisp, modern, sculptural qualities.
Efficient and functional layouts are augmented with a sense of community promoted through shared amenities. A large stairwell with benches at the base of an amply lit atrium serves as the main circulation space for chance encounters with neighbours. The courtyard garden provides communal seating areas and allotment planters that were adopted by residents soon after they moved in.
- Walthamstow, London
- Project type
- Homes and mixed-use
- Completed 2018
- Floor area
- Pocket Living
- Gort Scott Team
- Jay Gort, Fiona Scott, Rebecca Stephens, Katrin Sölter, Andrew Tam, Amy Wong, James Powell, Alice Shepherd, Fraser Leach-Smith
- Boyer (planning), WT Partnership (QS), Tully De’Ath (structures), XCO2 (building services), JCLA (landscape), JGA (fire), TPP (transport), 3cRisk (CDM)
- PDR Construction
- Dirk Lindner
- Brick Awards, Shortlisted
- New London Awards Mayor’s Prize, Shortlisted
- New London Awards Housing, Shortlisted
- RICS London Awards, Shortlisted
- AJ Housing Project of the Year, Shortlisted