Shape Architecture’s apartment scheme in Herne Hill is now complete. The project provides nine flats on the prominent corner site of a former public house.
The planning challenge was to sit the building into two very different street scenes. The one a fine row of nineteenth century terraced housing presenting a strong rhythm to the street then on turning the corner the project sits next to a 1960’s housing scheme, very different in its architecture. A third aspect to the building was in a rear public pathway to the existing social housing scheme, whereby the rear elevation would also be a key feature of the project.
The approach to the facade treatment incorporates a series of balconies to each flat which are set behind a brick elevation with a series of openings set in it. It is in this way that the elevation is knitted into the vertical rhythm of the street scene in a way that a run of balconies could not be.
Set within the brick facade are a series of frameless glass balustrades and this detail works well in contrast to the brickwork. A series of bands of glazed bricks are also employed to effect a vertical ‘terrace rhythm’. Towards the prominent corner of the building the terraces and glazing are given more emphasis and this provides good views and much natural light to the living and dining room spaces that are set on the corner.
How to get Light into basements
As with many of Shape Architecture’s basement projects a principle challenge is the way in which natural light is brought into each internal space at the basement level. One flat gives onto a basement level courtyard whilst others that front the street have a continual ‘ trench ‘ to provide light and further amenity space. The flats are also mainly configured as duplex flats over ground and basement levels. As with other of our basement projects a series of other measures such as feature stairwells and internal glass panels help to bring in further natural light.