location: Westminster, London
client: Octavia Housing
service: RIBA Stages 1-3
This project is a good example of a client examining their existing land ownership to identify opportunities for maximising efficiency of land use, however small. The site sits within an existing estate owned and managed by Octavia Housing. The scheme is known as Princes Place which won a Department of the Environment Award for good design in housing in 1977. It forms a tight urban grain with a mix of flats/maisonettes (to the west and north) and a terrace of bungalows for older people along the south side of a pedestrian-only mews. The site was originally designed as a play-space, but was paved over in the 1980’s and has been underused ever since.
The proposal is to extend the terrace by one more, single-storey home, following the scale and general form, to provide much-needed accommodation for an elderly resident or downsizer, thereby freeing up a larger, family-sized home elsewhere on the estate. The scheme will provide a 2 bedroom (3 person) dwelling for affordable rent. Space is provided within the curtilage for storage of a mobility scooter/bike and refuse. Internally the rooms achieve generous space standards, fully in compliance with London Plan Supplementary Planning Guidance and M4(2) of the Building Regulations (Accessible and Adaptable Dwellings).
The design minimises impact on neighbours through lowered eaves and orientation of the house’s main aspect onto a small courtyard. The design proposes a palette of brick and tile to match its surroundings.