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75-79 KENTISH TOWN ROAD, LONDON, A-EM ARCHITECTS

The L-shaped site has lain vacant since the end of the Second World War - bomb damaged and derelict. The £800,000 mixed-use scheme comprises six new dwellings and a commercial unit, and provides a clever use of very limited construction plots and the necessary public circulation space.

The scheme breaks down into three zones: the commercial upgrade, which will be the predominant public face of the works, combined with upgrade and enabling works to the neighbouring property; flats within the main front block; and a separate, stand-alone block of flats to the rear.

At the front, a three-storey building, predominantly in blue render, faces out on to Kentish Town Road, 'repairing, ' as A-EM's Martyn Clark says, 'the existing terrace and providing a new two-storey office with an additional two flats towards the rear'. The widest area of the main frontage comprises work, under separate contract, for the neighbouring property.

This extension of the brief has been incorporated in order to unify the block.

The restricted width of the site frontage has meant that only pedestrian access is afforded to the new mews houses to the rear of the site via a screen door, which opens to reveal the new internal courtyard. Staggered housing (see 'Back to the Terraces', AJ 26.7.01), maximises the potential of the back of the site. Each dwelling still manages to incorporate a balcony, views, light and privacy.

Visit www. a-em. com for more details

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