Kaolin Court
© Robert Barker, Stolon Studio

Shades of nature

architectum edition #38

Kaolin Court
© Robert Barker, Stolon Studio

Kaolin Court, London

in United Kingdom

Kaolin Court
© Robert Barker, Stolon Studio

Products used

Sandtoft 2020 Flanders, Baggeridge Blue Dragfaced Square Edged Cobbles

Shades of nature

As a natural product, red tile fits ideally into a green ­environment. A project in Lewisham, a quiet part of London, took advantage of this fact in a communally accessible courtyard.

Sunny courtyard thanks to special roof pitch in London

From the outside, people can only guess at the idyll within. A landscaped inner courtyard forms the heart of a residential project that focused on social interaction and using the highest quality of materials. Commissioned by a small housing association, the aim was to create high-quality housing at affordable prices. The planners at Stolon Studio also gave a lot of thought to energy efficiency, biodiversity and communal living.
They wanted the inner courtyards to become both social meeting places and sanctuaries for the residents. No fences were used and all boundaries are formed by plants and ponds. The pandemic proved the success of this concept. People moved into the project shortly before the first lockdown in 2020 and residents shared and enjoyed the communal green space right outside the doors of their flats.

Exterior and interior values

A direct relationship to nature was particularly important to the planners. Therefore, elements that support biodiversity were incorporated into the landscaping. Raised beds, lawns, masonry ponds and brick pavings throughout create a multifaceted garden.
The inner courtyard is hidden from view from the outside and passers-by first notice the quirky roofscape. The roof surfaces slope at unusual angles because they are aligned to the path of the sun. The architects used models to calculate the incidence of light to ensure that the courtyard got as much sun as possible all year round. Despite the unusual geometry, the planners created a consistent image by using the same tile for the roof and façade. 

Precisely cut to fit

One tile for almost all building surfaces: the natural irregularities of the Sandtoft 2020  Flanders clay tile in the reddish colour brings structure to the façade. This tile provides great flexibility and performance, and is therefore also suitable for a wide range of roof pitches and can follow even the most unusual building geometry using customised fastenings. The architects chose this clay tile because it best expresses the sculptural form of the building and provides an aesthetic light and charm throughout the complex.
Even on dull days, warm, bright light reflects across the brick surfaces into the courtyards and interiors. For the courtyard floor, the designers chose dark pavers with a naturally weathered texture: Baggeridge Blue Dragfaced Square Edges in a bluish grey creates the desired rustic appearance and echoes the natural textures of the roof and façade. 

Kaolin Court
© Robert Barker, Stolon Studio

Facts & Figures

Project name: Kaolin Court, London, United Kingdom

Architecture  Stolon Studio

Client  House of Tuesday

Year of completion  2020

Products used  Roof and façade: Sandtoft 2020 Flanders; Pavers: Baggeridge Blue Dragfaced Square Edged Cobbles 

Building type  Apartment Building

Edition  architectum #38

Kaolin Court
© Robert Barker, Stolon Studio

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