Lewisham Self-Build

Lewisham Self-Build Housing Association, London, 1988


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Completed self-build 

Phil Sayer     Download Original

  • Completed self-build    
  • Houses at Sydenham    
  • Walter Segal at Forest Hill site    
  • House at Forest Hill    
  • Architects    
  • Between two houses at Sydenham    
  • Living room    
  • Living room with a view into kitchen    
  • Bedroom    
  • Bedroom    
  • House with south facing patio    
  • Bromley Site Plan    
  • Forrest hill site plan    
  • Sydenham site plan    
  • House type 1 plan    
  • Type 2 & 3 plans    
  • Type 5 & 6 plans    
  • Type 8 plan (ground and first floors)    
  • Plan first floor joists (house type 8)    
  • Plan of pier foundations (house type 8)    
  • Plan of roof joists (house type 8)    
  • Section of frame structure (house type 8)    
  • Sketches    
  • Construction    
  • Construction    
  • Construction    
  • Construction     
  • Constructing foundations    
  • Construction    
  • Working detail: Wall    
  • Working detail: Floor and Walls    
  • Working detail: Window    

Group of 27 residential units built in two phases by the residents in a self-build scheme

Lewisham Council authorised a group of self-appointed builders, an architect, and a list of specific sites to be investigated. The sites were conventionally unbuildable (a steep slope, two pieces of scrap land, and a suburban garden of a villa) but were chosen to meet the needs of the housing boom at the time.

In 1976, 168 people attended the meeting to decide to whom the scheme of self-build houses should be granted. Then 14 participating families were selected by ballot.

Men, women, and children all helped in the building work and there was an option of employing specialist contractors. Their work included laying drains, erecting structural frames, moving and stacking deliveries.

Walter Segal designed the buildings, providing the builders with basic freehand drawings. There were eight different house types in total, ranging from single storey dwellings in Bromley and Sydenham, to seven storeys on the steep site of Forest Hill.

Constructed in timber, the buildings required only basic carpentry skills. Once the frame was erected, the roof was covered with woodwool slabs, felted and capped. The walls were also lined with woodwool, and covered by compressed cement sheets.


  • Begun: 1987
  • Completed: 1988
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £75,647
  • Tender date: 1976
  • Address: Walters Way and Honour Oak Park, Boveney Road, Lewisham, London, SE23 3LH, United Kingdom

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