In South London, the construction of ten apartments has been completed with an almost extinct characteristic: artisan architecture.
Being a judge and a party is not very well seen, unless the results are satisfactory for those affected. In the case of architecture, you have to have very clear ideas, and very healthy pockets, to undertake a development where you are, on the one hand a client, and on the other a designer. And now, to curl the curl, contractor. This is what happens in the building we are going to talk about today, a complex of 10 fantastic London apartments. A residential wonder.
An apartment complex in a prime London location
The development finished its construction at the end of 2019, on the border where the neighborhoods of East Dulwich, Nunhead and Peckham converge. This space overlooking Peckham Rye Park has become fashionable in recent years, raising the cache of the surroundings.
All thanks to the commercial and cultural success of the area, and the abundance of green spaces in this part of London. In addition, from the property it takes about 20 minutes to reach the City, the most famous part of the English capital.
The person in charge of these London apartments was the architecture studio Tikari Works. It was also the builders, which makes their commitment to the project total. Of course, the choice of location helps, a plot that covers two corners and three streets, opening up a fantastic range of possibilities.
The architects studied in detail the way in which to take advantage of the place, providing the longest hours of light, the best privacy and, as good professionals, emphasizing the relationship of the property with the urban context.
Ten apartments divided into two buildings
The ten apartments are located within two buildings. Kindsale Block houses two one-bedroom apartments with a private garden on the ground floor. And on the top floor, two duplexes with an attic, three bedrooms and generous terraces.
Next to it, in front of the park, is the Park Block, which houses on the ground floor two two-bedroom apartments with a private garden, another two on the first floor of the same type, and two duplexes with an attic, as some duplexes are cool, and three bedrooms on the upper floors.
Some London apartments covered with 10,000 clay tiles
As always, there are two parameters that link a building with its surroundings: the morphology of its envelope and the materials with which it is covered. Classic terracotta brick buildings with classic sloping tile roofs abound in this area of the city, which is called the Victorian style.
For this reason, the architects devised two volumes with continuous facades that become roofs in their attics, by leaning at striking angles, covering them with the same material, clay bricks placed as tiles. Simply sublime!
In total, the complex is covered with 10,000 clay tiles from the Petersen Tegl factory in Denmark. Pieces made by hand in old firing ovens, following a long tradition since its foundation in 1791. These tiles are placed on battens, being of simple execution, which facilitates the putting into work and guarantees the replacement in case of breakage.
Beneath the buildings, a robust reinforced concrete wall raises the buildings to further highlight their figure, at the same time that it perimeter the site and protects the property.
A passive building, because it is sustainable
However, the overload of the same material ends up being harmful to the aesthetic interpretation of any building. Therefore, to mitigate the overuse of red clay, the designers opted to introduce large openings, some of which serve as balconies or terraces.
These gaps, solved with a simple black tone frame, not only mitigate the feeling of suffocation, they also give identity to the project by bending in the lines of the buildings, following the slopes of the eaves.
Why are these apartments called liabilities?
The London apartment complex is passive because since its inception it has opted for sustainable use. One that emphasizes the need to bond with the environment without diminishing or destroying it. For this, it was conceptualized to be executed with the least amount of material possible, lower the use of energy during construction and do it at the lowest cost. We do not know if they have achieved the latter, since we do not have the numbers.
A construction that thinks about the environment
How do they get it? Well, using durable materials, built with a low environmental impact and run dry. This guarantees the least use of water and the least energy consumption.
The inner envelope was also executed with cross laminated wood (CLT). The volume of wood used is capable of capturing 227 tons of carbon. In addition, since the buildings are covered in walls and ceilings of this material, it helps to sleep with less pollution in your home.
All this is accompanied by the use of solar energy, captured by the photovoltaic panels on the roof. Ventilation throughout the building, with a system for capturing heat from the air to improve energy performance; a high-performance solar-controlled glazing from Ideal Combi. Added to this is the use of programmable underfloor heating in the rooms; a lift for people from ground floor to basement of the Italian brand Stannah and, above all, the use of a super insulated and hermetic envelope.
The property is supported by a solid wood structure
Behind the components we have talked about is the one responsible for the transmission of loads, the structure that supports the property. This is made of solid wood from the Austrian Alps, with an environmental guarantee, of course.
These structures have been in operation since time immemorial and current construction techniques guarantee their maximum durability. In addition, there is no equal carbon reducer, so it is not surprising that they are being used more and more in England, Europe and Spain.
A hermetic building, but very well ventilated
The Rye Apartments is in its own right a unique construction, in which companies such as VT Construct, craftsmen specialists, the CLT company Eurban, and Webb Yates engineering have collaborated. All of them accompanied by the planning consultancy Barton Willmore.
By the way, I cannot finish the article without saying that a super-insulated and hermetic building is not an unbreathable monolith, au contrarie, as a philosopher would say. It is a building that guarantees comfort without counting on the outside, putting efficient barriers against noise, heat, cold or pollution. However, opening doors and windows is always an option.
Photos courtesy of Jack Hobhouse