New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London

The site for this project was challenging, it was constrained, underused and badly looked after and sits behind existing flats in Stratford, East London. By focussing on an efficient compact layout we turned a carpark into a beautiful, liveable community by inserting four new, sustainable, timber buildings into the site. Both the existing and new homes enjoy common spaces activated by contemporary design and landscaping. The new facades, with their palette of warm, natural materials, give this neighbourhood a high quality, attractive and sustainable environment. This will encourage a sense of ownership and thus care which in turn produces a safer and more liveable neighbourhood.

New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
Client: Cliveden Land Ltd
Type: Residential
Value: £500k-10million
Date: 2022
Size: 0-1000sqm
Status: Completed
Location: Stratford, Newham, London
Awards: Structural Tiber Award - shortlisted

Urban Strategy
The new 800 sq. m (8,600 sq.ft.) scheme is the first pilot scheme for developer Cliveden Land Ltd. It provides contemporary homes and adds to the amenity of the existing flats by turning much of a half empty car park into a landscaped courtyard. The striking Scandinavian pine clad buildings help transform the immediate area, which is starting to benefit from the regenerative effects of the Olympic Park and where well-designed new homes are in demand. Neighbouring areas such as Leytonstone and Walthamstow have become some of the most sought-after districts in East London in recent years.  

The four buildings comprise two blocks joined in ‘L’ shapes positioned carefully in the rear car park alongside the 39 existing homes. Together they provide nine apartments including four 3-bedroom homes, three 2-bed homes and two 1-bed semi-detached homes.By creating intimate landscaped courtyards in the underused car park, the development is contributing to the security of all residents and the greening of Chobham Road. 

The new buildings successfully close off the back of the development creating more of a mews feel, with heightened security alongside inclusion of a barrier with access control. The addition of landscaped gardens increases the soft landscaped area, reduces the tarmac and rationalises the car parking.

The strong, uncluttered design of the buildings has attracted a lot of interest from neighbours who say they are enjoying the visual uplift that the flats bring to the area.

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

Prefabrication
We have used off-site prefabrication and cross-laminated timber (CLT) to deliver contemporary, daylit and sustainable housing. The prefabricated buildings were constructed in a very short time, with little noise and minimal disruption to the residents of the adjacent buildings.The off-site fabricated cross laminated timber construction (mass timber) essentially fits together on site like a large jigsaw puzzle. 

Roof Mounted Photovoltaics
The buildings feature edge-to-edge photovoltaic panelled pitched roofs inclined to allow daylight into the existing ground floors with active panels south facing and passive north facing. The roofs feature skylights to add daylight into the flats, especially on the north facing side in order to avoid heat gain.Working closely with GB-Sol Ltd, a side-to-side photovoltaic roof system is installed to achieve a sleek looking roof that neatly connects to the façades wooden battens whilst producing a high solar power output meeting the sustainability targets of the development. We believe it is a truly holistic contemporary architectural solution.

Landscaping and Biodiversity

The landscaping includes pedestrian walkways, green hedges, new trees, and rich borders to protect the existing ground floor windows from cars.  Low timber gates define the front space. The new landscaping and planting provide rainwater run-off and enhance biodiversity as well as a covered bicycle storage area and new bin storage on the street side. The parking area and internal roadways are all permeable to absorb the water runoff.

The garden turns what could easily have been a dull parking lot into a forecourt filled with colour, scent and texture, creating a place for residents to share and enjoy. The car park has a porous surface which allows rainfall to soak away, naturally replenishing ground water. All these factors add to a garden that will thrive for years to come with little intervention and with a low a carbon footprint.

Sustainability

Sustainability has been designed in from the start and materials offering a high degree of thermal efficiency have been specified throughout. The new residences have been designed to be zero low carbon in operation, through the use of electricity as the only energy source with a green mains electricity supply supplemented with the roof mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels. All roof surfaces, other than those north facing, are covered with photovoltaic panels.

On sunny days the PV panels will power 100 per cent of the communal demand, including the electric car charging points, with excess power fed back to the grid. The highly insulated buildings and underfloor electric heating minimise the demand for electricity within the apartments. At least one third of the car parking spaces will have electric charging points. 

The structure is approximately 400m3 (14,126 ft3) of timber which means this project, in its structure alone, has captured 400,000 kg of CO2 or 400 tonnes (440 US tons) CO2 and removed this amount from atmosphere. To give this some scale, a modern petrol driven car emits about 22 tonnes of CO2 over its life, so this is like removing 20 petrol cars from our roads permanently.

Timber Facades

The new facades have been built in timber, to complement the existing brick façades, to give a ‘warm’ feel to the backyards and to express the mass timber structure. The Scandinavian pine facades have crisp hit and miss batten detailing to create a textured rhythm of timber and shadow, with painted aluminium trims to mark the edges, floor levels, window and door openings.

New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London
New courtyard housing in Stratford, East London