To the front the site’s constraints reduce the buildable area to about 35%. This includes five root protection areas that penetrate into the site. Additionally, the neighbouring properties are two-storey and do not provide useful building lines or height references. The rear part spans the rear gardens of 35 neighbouring properties. Key constraints of the neighbours were: overlooking, overshadowing, dominating impact, noise, privacy, amenity space and site access. The architects successfully worked with ten consultant teams to address and resolve each of the 48 reasons for refusal which were raised by the council.
Finding a solution
Apart from these issues, the site is very valuable for housing as it has a good access to public transport, schools, community facilities, local shops and services. Therefore a solution was needed to establish living space. The scheme has been designed to ensure no adverse impact on the residential amenity of neighbouring properties in terms of sunlight, daylight, outlook or privacy. It has no dominating relationship to any neighbouring buildings or gardens. The building volume was carefully examined for its relationship to the existing neighborhood and with regard to building height and façade to façade distances. A daylight and sunlight assessment was undertaken to examine the scheme for overshadowing of neighboring properties. The façades of the mews allow maximized outlook for residents, but minimize the overlooking of existing neighboring gardens. This is achieved by the installation of screens over some windows.
Overall the scheme establishes a harmonious link between local heritage, urban design, constraints & opportunities, site layout and floor plan functionality. 29 residential dwellings including 18 affordable homes have been constructed, with ancillary parking, landscaping and amenity space.
Heath Lodge is one of our most successful examples for an integrative, density-driven design approach that due to its inherent links to its context and community convincingly addressed the 48 previous reasons of refusal.
Brick as the right choice
The choice of the type of brick played a key role into the design. The light color and texture give the building a warm and earthy character. Furthermore, the material allows the creation of a link between the new development and the neighboring sites and integrates harmoniously into the urban surroundings. The neighbourhood’s general architectural style is late Edwardian and Victorian housing, as is generally found in suburban areas of London. All materials were chosen with consideration to reduced environmental impact.
Besides the use of sustainable materials, improved insulation values and renewable sources account for about 20% of the used energy on site. This includes solar panels, under floor heating, heat recovery units and rain water harvesting. Water use has been reduced by the use of dual flush toilets, low flow fittings and efficient appliances. Water butts for rainwater are to be installed in the private amenity space for irrigation.
The project is a huge success; Heath Lodge is shortlisted for four awards this year in the UK, including “Housing Development of the Year”.
Facts & Figures
Project nameHeath Lodge, London, United Kingdom
ClientLeo Developments Ltd
Year of completion2016