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HHbR wins green light for Lewisham 'bookends'

Henley Halebrown Rorrison (HHbR) , the rebranded successor of AJ/Corus 40 Under 40 practice Buschow Henley Architects, has won the go-ahead for this £2.3 million mixed-use housing and office scheme in Lewisham, south-east London

The practice’s 18-flat, twin-site project in Lee Road for London & Quadrant sits either side of a an already approved scheme by Hawkins\Brown south east of Lewisham town centre.

Henley Halebrown Rorrison's £2.3 million mixed-use housing and office scheme sitting between the River Quaggy and Lee High Road,in Lewisham, south-east London

Henley Halebrown Rorrison’s £2.3 million mixed-use housing and office scheme sitting between the River Quaggy and Lee High Road,in Lewisham, south-east London

The architect’s view

‘Designed as ‘bookends’ these [two buildings] form a more static, solid counterpoint to the dynamic and highly coloured elevation of Hawkins\Brown’s 36-56 Lee High Road and offer a degree of continuity and consistency to the street scene.

This idea of solidity is further enhanced with the use of a single brick for all elevations and the detail that is employed particularly at openings. Here the reveals are a minimum of a full brick deep and a ‘hit and miss’ brickwork has been used as a screen allowing the use of very generous openings without the resulting loss of privacy.

The opening elements of the windows are behind these screens offering a degree of protection from the dust from the main road and exposing only the fixed - and therefore visually simpler - windows on the façade. A variation of this detail has been used on the ground storey of brickwork by recessing selected bricks 20mm creating a similar pattern to the ‘hit and miss’ above. The shopfront is again deeply recessed, its height matching the adjacent shopfronts. The balustrade to the roof terrace on the west side is again in perforated brick to maintain the consistency of the façade.

To the rear, a sequence of external spaces from river, to riverbank, to lower courtyard, to upper courtyard offers green spaces deep into the development. The lower courtyard provides amenity, light and air to the rear of the commercial units. The L shape mass and gently inflected elevations maximise the amount of south and west facing external envelope benefiting from river views whilst achieving good daylight for the residential space and addressing overlooking and privacy issues.


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