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FIRST LOOK

alma-nac creates ‘couplets’ of apartment units in Croydon retrofit

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Paxton House, a derelict 1960s building next to Norwood Junction station, has been converted into 43 homes with shared communal spaces

Avoiding a central corridor arrangement, each of the dual-aspect apartments is accessed via a series of stacked walkways tucked behind the block’s northern edge. On the other side, each unit has a south-facing living space and balcony, which has employed an angled, slatted balustrade design to provide privacy from neighbouring apartments while focusing views out towards the nearby train tracks.

The external walkways double as service routes, removing the requirement for internal service transfer with the floor finished with a layer of chipped rubber to ensure acoustic dampening. A spare room and workspace – termed ‘micro temporary accommodation’ – is shared by the whole building, and neighbouring flats share semi-private lobbies in an attempt to encourage a sense of community throughout the block.

171106 Almanac CargreenRd 047

171106 Almanac CargreenRd 047

Source: Jack Hobhouse

The bulk of the block is glad in stainless steel and white GRC panels, a contrast to the timber louvres that define the facade. Movement-activated LED strips light routes through the building, positioned so as not to light private spaces. Alma-nac is currently involved in post-occupancy evaluation for the block.

Paxton house 05oldnew

Paxton house 05oldnew

Source: Jack Hobhouse

Before and after views

Project data

Start on site January 2015
Completion October 2017 (occupation date)
Gross internal floor area 2,495m²
Form of contract or procurement route Construction management
Construction cost £5 million
Construction cost per m² £2,004 
Architect alma-nac
Client Joseph Homes
Structural engineer Civic Engineers
MEP consultant Integration UK 
Planning consultant Rolfe Judd
Project manager Joseph Homes
CDM coordinator Goddard Consulting
Approved building inspector Greendoor
CAD software used Archicad
Annual CO2 emissions 14.6kgCO2eq/m²

PAXTON HOUSE DRAWINGS 6

PAXTON HOUSE DRAWINGS 6

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