NEWHAM FAMILY HOMES
Panter Hudspith has designed a typology for a three-bedroom, six-person home, 15 of which have been completed on Brede and Darwell Closes, and Abbey Lane in Newham, east London, at a cost of £2.7m. The development was won through competitive tender in which three architects were selected by the London Borough of Newham to join a framework agreement with a pilot project for 100 affordable homes.
The house type – rectangular in plan for cost effective construction – is divided into three parts, with circulation and bathrooms in the centre and habitable rooms at either end. Large windows ensure good natural light and ventilation, and precast reveals are chamfered to maximise daylight. Though designed to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, the houses are future-proofed with high levels of insulation, allowing for upgrade to Levels 5 or 6 with only minor services alterations.
The brick envelope encloses a prefabricated timber frame, with aluminium windows set in precast window surrounds and the pitched roofs are finished with fibre-cement tiles. All the houses have roof-integrated photovoltaics on south-facing 35 degree pitches, with access through a rooflight that also acts as a passive ventilation stack.
The ground-floor living space overlooks the front garden, while the kitchen and dining room open out onto a large rear garden. The plan configuration works whether the access to the garden is made through the back or the side of the house. On the first floor are located two twin bedrooms, a double bedroom and a bathroom. The larger twin allows space for the beds to be arranged on opposite sides of the room, each with its own window. The smaller twin can be easily adapted as a double bedroom for an aging parent or a study, based on the premise that improving and adapting homes, rather than moving, helps to establish a community of neighbours.
The front gardens are four metres deep to allow secure storage for bicycles and bins, as well as a tree. The front boundary walls are solid brick, just tall enough to enclose the bicycle store, with a simple metal roof perched on top.Rear gardens are as deep as the sites allow, with solid masonry boundary walls for the first 1.8m where there is hard paving, and changing to timber fencing the remaining depth of the gardens, alongside the soft landscaping. The rear gardens serve as the fire escape refuge from the rear of the property.