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First look

Peter Barber Architects completes 33-home ‘mansion block’ in Southwark

  • 7 Comments

The development has a mix of private, intermediate and social rent homes with a communal tree-lined court at the rear. 

The 33-home scheme is located in a prominent position on Peckham Road in the London Borough of Southwark, and consists of a mix of 24 per cent intermediate, 6 per cent social rent, 70 per cent private dwellings (percentage by habitable rooms). It takes the form of a massive ’ziggurated’ apartment block  designed to reintroduce a strong, coherent edge to this stretch of Peckham Road.

Peckham road 2 morley von sternberg

Peckham road 2 morley von sternberg

Source: Morley von Sternberg

The scheme also features a pedestrianised courtyard square at the rear, a quiet, tree-lined space with concrete benches for residents to enjoy, which also provides access to several courtyard homes surrounding it.

The building’s construction is an in-situ reinforced-concrete frame clad in facing brick. The brick has been chosen to sit harmoniously within the surrounding area and to enhance the natural light within the communal courtyards and terraces, helping give a softness to the elevation.

The core materials carry through to the communal interiors which feature exposed concrete curved stairwells and brick-lined corridors.

Peckham road 8 pba

Peckham road 8 pba

Source: Morley von Sternberg

Architect’s view

The design was developed following careful analysis of the site and context to ensure that it enhanced and complemented the character of the local area. We sought for the building to be a vibrant, attractive and delightful addition to the local area, optimising the site’s potential whilst providing high-quality homes for new residents, and improving the environment for neighbours.

A ziggurat form articulates the massing and steps the building back in respect of its context. South-facing terraces cascade down the front façade, reinforcing the resident’s and building’s relationship with the street below.

The building’s character will continue to evolve as residents fill the spaces – use and occupation of the courtyards, terraces and balconies will enliven the façades, giving personality to the building, enriching the connection between the building and its setting.

Peckham road 6 pba

Peckham road 6 pba

Source: Morley von Sternberg

The architecture has a picturesque quality with the façades activated by numerous front doors, balconies, courtyards, roof terraces, balconies and large feature picture windows.

The alternating height of the massing creates a notched profile that softens the building while the gradual stepping of the façade and roof profile means that the homes benefit from the use of a good-sized roof terrace or courtyard garden.

A raised ‘picnic folly’ on the far side of the square ensures active frontage on all sides (this part of the site is too narrow for a house) and provides an informal external space for neighbours to congregate and meet.

We envisage the balconies, terraces and courtyards ‘planted up’  and populated by their inhabitants on sunny days, enlivened by the activity of their occupants, playing out their lives on the roofs and façades.

Peter Barber Architects

Screenshot 2020 04 20 at 17.08.07

Screenshot 2020 04 20 at 17.08.07

Source: Peter Barber Architects

Ground floor plan

Project data 

Start on site Autumn 2017
Completion date Summer 2019
Gross internal floor area 2,846m²
Form of contract or procurement route Design and Build
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Peter Barber Architects
Client Kuropatwa
Structural engineer Hall Davis
M&E consultant Mendick Waring
QS Kuropatwa
Landscape consultant Peter Barber Architects
Acoustic consultant KP Acoustics
Project manager Kuropatwa
CDM coordinator Safe Scope
Approved building inspector BCA
Main contractor Kuropatwa
CAD software used AutoCAD

Screenshot 2020 04 20 at 17.09.17

Screenshot 2020 04 20 at 17.09.17

  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • fantastic

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  • it is so heartening to see this quality of work

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  • Please may we have a typical upper floor plan? It would be very helpful - the Ground Floor only shows so much

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  • A well deserved future award winner!

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  • This is NOT a mansion block, so who is calling it that?

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  • Is that a 21st century oratory at the back of the courtyard?
    If the combination of Peter Barber and Kuropatwa can maintain this quality of architecture on their share of the first tranche of the mayor's TfL small sites initiative then the AJ's going to have a great deal better to publicise than the recent average, and hopefully it'll encourage both architects and developers to try a lot harder.

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  • Great to see some imagination on the facade and it looks like the architects vision has been carried out to a good standard of workmanship. My only issue is as a developer I am fed up of the white wash over yellow brick but that is just a personal observation.

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