Edward Williams Architects gets green light for timber homes in landscaped courtyards

Planning has been granted by Newham Borough Council for an unusual 800 sq m residential scheme for client Cliveden Land Ltd.

Edward Williams Architects has cleverly inserted four new buildings into the car parking area of an existing development of 39 homes, to create a landscaped, mews-style development providing a quiet, green and secure environment for all the residents, both old and new.

The four new buildings comprise two blocks conjoined in ‘L’ shapes positioned carefully in the rear car park alongside the existing housing, creating two new courtyards. Together they provide nine apartments including four three-bedroom homes and two 1-bed semi-detached homes.

The timber cladding complements the brick facades of the existing buildings and gives a warm, natural feel to the development, boosted by an injection of new planting. The pitched roofs are clad in zinc and sloped to allow daylight to penetrate the ground floors of the surrounding buildings. The north-facing pitches feature large skylights to allow daylight to flood the upper apartments without undue heat gain.

The new landscaping and planting will provide a leafy green outlook for residents, at the same time increases privacy, providing rainwater run-off and enhancing biodiversity. The extensive landscaping includes green hedges and rich borders, providing a buffer between ground floor windows and parked cars, a covered bicycle storage area and new bin storage on the street side. Birch, magnolia, maple, and cotinus trees will be planted in the lawn adding rich colour.

Sustainability has been fully considered at Chobham Road. Much of the new homes will be constructed using offsite prefabrication to enable a fast build in order to minimise the impact on the existing residents. Edward Williams Architects will also specify materials, offering a very high degree of thermal efficiency. At least one third of the parking spaces will have electric charging points.

In line with Newham’s Sustainable Community Strategy 2010-2030, this project not only provides additional homes to the borough, but it has been designed with a variety of tenants, their accessibility, and need for quality homes, in mind.

Laura Carrara-Cagni, Director of Edward Williams Architects said: “Adding new homes in a variety of configurations into this constrained site pushed us to design a layout which uses the land particularly efficiently. We turned a carpark into a beautiful, liveable community. Both the existing and new homes will enjoy common spaces activated by modern design and landscaping. The new house facades, with their palette of warm, natural materials, will give this neighbourhood a rooted, homely sustainable environment. This will encourage a sense of care and make this site safer and more valuable.”