robert dye architects

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Housing at Madeleine Terrace, London SE5

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Awarded a Housing Design Award in 2009

Originally a dairy with horse-drawn drays, the premises were last used as a taxi garage before becoming derelict; over a period of disuse the grazing land to the north was a refuge for wildlife. Fierce opposition from the neighbours made the site very difficult to gain planning consent. Planning involved a number of applications and two appeals. The final scheme as built, develops the southern site with residential units whilst retaining the northern site as a wild garden amenity space.

The six houses have shared use of the wild garden, which extends across half the site providing a tranquil natural space hidden within the existing terraces. The houses are gathered on the southern end around a shared courtyard, small enough to be animated by the life within. This large amount of shared outdoor space is complimented by the provision of private individual gardens and balconies for each of the houses.

Reclaimed bricks from the previous buildings on the site are used to re-build the backs of the mews. The structure of the houses is timber frame built within the reclaimed masonry. Finishes are simple and low maintenance, using stained timber, render, zinc, and brick.

Contractor: Handsome Properties Ltd.