Walmer Yard

Peter Salter, London, 2016


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The development is made of cast in-situ concrete 

Helene Binet     Download Original

  • The development is made of cast in-situ concrete    
  • The dwellings are orchestrated around a private courtyard    
  • The dwellings feature yurts    
  • Detail of yard shutters    
  • The staggered panels of the timber shutters    
  • Entrance to House D    
  • Underside of black steel staircase    
  • A concrete hearth    
  • Cooking table in one of the dwellings    
  • Threshold to House A yurt    
  • Garage floor plan    
  • Upper ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Original planning submission for existing roof plan and proposed top floor    

Walmer Yard in west London is the first UK residential scheme by architectural designer and teacher Peter Salter.

Of the dwellings, three resemble tall townhouses, with reception rooms at courtyard level, bedrooms on the middle level, and entertaining and roof gardens at the top. To meet planning constraints, the fourth is more like a mews house, and is arranged over two floors, with roof-lit reception rooms at courtyard level and bedrooms below. 

The development is made of cast in-situ concrete, with a large transfer slab over the basement car park on which the townhouses sit and into which the mews house is partially sunk. In-situ reinforced concrete was chosen largely because of its material quality as a hand-made and crafted construction.

The brief for the housing design explored a notion of close living synonymous with the urban environment and required an architecture that exploited the full range of the site’s capabilities, both above and below ground level. Thus in-situ concrete was used for retaining walls below ground, with street-level construction using double-skin concrete spandrels stretching between perimeter columns. Single-skin spandrels were constructed around the courtyard to act as edge beams to the floor slabs. These walls were cast using birch-faced formwork in order to encourage shadows across the wall surface of the interiors. These cast walls also reflect noise from either the courtyard or the room.

The floors are highly reinforced, to carry the heavy steel of the bathroom pods; the floor slabs transfer the loads to the perimeter columns and to the concrete elliptical staircase. The concrete uses 38 per cent ground and granulated blast furnace slag as a partial substitute for the cement content. This produces a more creamy-coloured finish. 


  • Completed: 2016
  • Sector: Residential
  • Address: Walmer Yard, London, W11 4EW, United Kingdom

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