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Pocket Living completes first micro-flats tower


Metropolitan Workshop’s modular tower for Pocket Living features 254 steel-framed modules, which were installed at the rate of one floor a day

The slender tower, situated on a constrained site in Mapleton Crescent, Wandsworth, comprises 89 homes of which 53 are set aside for locals. It occupies a triangular site backing on to the River Wandle and Southside shopping centre.

03 metropolitan works mapleton core profile

03 metropolitan works mapleton core profile

Clad in aqua green bespoke terracotta, designed in collaboration with ceramicist Loraine Rutt, the striking glazed façade features three types of tile. The unique cladding adds reflective texture to the sawtooth tower, while the entrance lobby continues these elements internally.

The scheme is arranged with five homes per floor making up two sides of the triangular plan – three facing the river, and two south-facing – all clustered around a naturally lit core. The single core incorporates a shared residential lift and stairwell.

10 metropolitan works mapleton stair 2

10 metropolitan works mapleton stair 2

The single-core solution was particularly useful during construction – all modular units for each of the Pocket flats were craned on to this platform – allowing one floor to be completed per day.

Unit sizes range from ‘Pocket’ flats – that here averaged 40sqm, slightly above the 38 sqm Pocket usually design to – with other units ranging between 68-81sqm. 

Metropolitan Workshop’s second prefab tower for Pocket homes is expected to complete later this year.

Architect’s view

Pocket Living asked Metropolitan Workshop to design its biggest and most prestigious building to date in 2014. Our design role created a variety of communal lounge spaces and rooftop gardens for all the residents to enjoy, as well as utilising cost-effective, factory-built housing which could be delivered at scale and speed on a tight site.

Volumetric offsite construction was quicker than traditional construction with much less waste and a higher quality finish. 254 steel-framed modules were installed at the rate of a floor a day and resulted in far fewer site deliveries with less disruption to neighbours.

Jonathan Drage, project architect, Metropolitan Workshop

Metropolitan Workshop-Mapleton Crescent-Model

Metropolitan Workshop-Mapleton Crescent-Model

Project data 

Start on site September 2016
Completion June 2018
Net internal floor area 7,500m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 16,218m² (internal: 7,800, external: 8,418)
Form of contract or procurement route Design & Build
Construction cost £23.2 million
Construction cost per m2 £3,000
Architect Metropolitan Workshop
Client Pocket Living
Structural engineer Clancy (stages 0-3), Barratt Mahoney (stages 4-6)
M&E consultant Mendick Waring
QS WT Partnership
Acoustic consultant WSP
Project manager Pocket Living
CDM coordinator Baily Garner
Approved building inspector Assent Building Control
Main contractor Donban
CAD software used MicroStation 2D


Readers' comments (3)

  • well done Jonathan - looks great

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  • The floor plans all feel like they are missing 2 windows on the corner units to make it really a really exceptional project, some of those kitchens could have done with a bit of natural light. Is it just a question of cost?

    good project though! more of this!

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  • Please can someone tell me why these are 'micro-flats' when they appear to conform to the required minimum standards?

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