79SH

Improvements and extension of an existing block of flats in London.

The modest late 1960's four storeys block is located on a wide and busy tree lined street adjacent to a mix of late Victorian, inter and post war buildings with more recent taller new built additions.

The questions this project raise are wider than the site boundaries and relate to the future life of the existing stock of communal living arrangements .

With the densification of urban areas such existing buildings offer a development potential but the basic conditions they provide and the low environmental performance standards puts their existence in question. Due to long leaseholds it was difficult to replace with a new building and for the avoidance of displacement of the existing residents several options were considered.

The result is an update to the existing fabric with access improvements and lifts, new balconies to both current and new residents which also provides the external structural support spanning over the building and relates to the neighbouring Victorian mansion blocks.

Seven new residential units were added on two floors - the fourth is continuing the existing brick mass, and the fifth as a light setback metal clad pavilion which relate to the new steel structure.

By extending the building up the additional accommodation pays for the extension of the existing stock's design life while also reduces the potential carbon footprint that a new building would have had.

Structural principles card and wood model

CGI visualisation of the scheme:

3D model in context:

Initial variation of the design: