Barbauld Road

Stephen Taylor Architects, London, 2018

 

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The project sits on a corner site in Stoke Newington, surrounded by terraced houses built of brick 

David Grandorge     Download Original

  • The project sits on a corner site in Stoke Newington, surrounded by terraced houses built of brick    
  • The brief was to provide seven family homes arranged as houses in a terrace, three for private sale and four for social rent    
  • Surrounding the site are terraces of two and three-storey brick houses    
  • Barbauld Road is Hackney Council’s first foray into building houses for social rent since the early 1980s    
  • At 3.5m wide, the houses are unusually narrow when compared with their neighbours    
  • The bay and the porch detailing is made special by a rich-brown porcelain tile and red clay brick    
  • A roof terrace    
  • Stephen Taylor Architects’ proposal for the project was for a terrace of slim houses with stepped rear elevation and staggered internal partitions, achieving an optimum arrangement of spaces of these long, thin houses    
  • A sculpted timber stair    
  • To maximise the amount of useable space, the structural approach adopted needed to minimise the thickness of the party walls    
  • Timber-joisted floors were adopted throughout, using metal web joists – more dimensionally stable than sawn joists and allowing the flexibility to lace services through    
  • Site plan    
  • Plans    
  • Plans 2    
  • Section AA    
  • Bay detail plan    

With its Barbauld Road development in Stoke Newington, the practice has reworked the plan and image of the familiar terraced house.

The brief was to provide seven family homes arranged as houses in a terrace, three for private sale and four for social rent, on a site that was previously occupied by a three-storey apartment building containing six flats. The brief stated that there should be no distinction between the houses for sale and those that would be rented in either specification or appearance. 

Surrounding the site are terraces of two and three-storey brick houses. With their mix of bay and vertically proportioned sash windows, frieze lines and embellished entrance doors, they form a consistent background to this north London neighbourhood.

Six houses, of stepped section, are arranged along the south-facing street edge of the site with another small house inserted in a continuous manner in the side street to the west. At 3.5m wide internally, the proposed houses are unusually narrow. The neighbouring houses are typically 4.7m wide, with a staircase located along the party wall and a front room to the street. The narrowness of the plots here required the staircase to move deeper into the plan and to be aligned perpendicular to the party wall to form a dog-leg vertically through the house. In doing so, the full width of the plot is deployed front and rear for habitable rooms, save at the ground floor street-side.

At 3.5m wide, the houses are unusually narrow when compared with their neighbours. The plan is also flipped, placing the main living space at the rear of the house and the kitchen at the front – ambiguously separated from the porch and lobby by an openable glazed screen. The porch with its glazed screen is a special moment in the building, it simultaneously allows one to enter the house without passing through the kitchen, but also – particularly on warm days – allows one to connect the daily life of the kitchen to the porch and front garden. A seat placed in the garden wall by each entrance further suggests an informal occupation of the threshold, encouraging the notion of neighbourliness and conviviality.

To maximise the amount of useable space, the structural approach adopted needed to minimise the thickness of the party walls and avoid outstands resulting from steel columns (for instance) located within party walls. The structural engineer adopted the 1960s technique of ‘Rat-Trad’ (Rationalised Traditional) construction. Terraces using this crosswall construction technique rely on masonry party walls to provide resistance to both vertical and lateral loads without additional stability from elevations or internal walls, thereby simplifying construction and maximising flexibility of internal spaces.

Data

  • Begun: Feb 2017
  • Completed: Sep 2018
  • Floor area: 920m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £2.6M
  • CO2 Emissions: 9.24kg/m2/year
  • Address: Barbauld Road, London, N16 0SS, United Kingdom

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