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Rye Apartments by Tikari Works

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With a shingle-clad façade and exposed CLT interiors, Tikari Works has create a sense of warmth and privacy in this housing scheme opposite Peckham Rye Park. Photography by Jack Hobhouse

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The Rye Apartments is a development of 10 sustainable flats on a highly visible corner site opposite Peckham Rye Park in south London. A mix of one, two, and three-bedroom units are set in two blocks terminating an urban row. 

Through careful analysis of privacy, daylight and neighbouring building forms the studio developed an architectural language which would complement the surrounding context and history. Through a process of transformation, the buildings share a sibling relationship with their neighbourhood and with each other, without relying on pastiche or obvious reference. This relationship is grounded by a concrete plinth, which extends the full length of the site and helps to resolve changes in site level while enclosing bicycle and bin storage spaces and providing shelter from the busy main road.  

Externally, the buildings are clad in red masonry shingles. The materiality of the shingles helps to create a familiarity with the red and brown brick context, but at the same time the sculptural forms of the blocks and the intensive use of the shingles creates an urban composition that is simultaneously familiar yet new. This productive tension is enhanced through the play of fenestration across the façade as window openings cut through building lines and bend across eave levels to give the project its unique identity, bring daylight deep into the plan and add character to the internal spaces.

Ty Tikari, director, Tikari Works

Rye Apartments by Tikari Works

Project data

Start on site October 2018
Completion February 2020
Gross internal floor area 880m²
Construction cost £2,000,000
Construction cost per m² £2,200
Architect Tikari Works
Client Tikari Works
Structural engineer Webb Yates
M&E consultant Syntegra
CDM co-ordinator MLM
Approved building inspector MLM
Main contractor Tikari Works
Acoustic consultant Syntegra
Planning consultant Barton Willmore
CLT subcontractor Eurban
Specialist crafts VT Construct
CAD software used MicroStation
Annual CO2 emissions 15.78kg/m²
Predicted design life 50 years

Rye Apartments by Tikari Works2

Architect’s choices

Red masonry shingles from Petersen Tegl clad both the external walls and roofs of the project. The colour and texture of this material create a familiarity with the Victorian brick context, while the scale of the shingles and their continuity make for a building with a more sculptural presence. 

A CLT frame is used for the superstructure and was chosen both for its ability to sequester carbon (227 tonnes) as well as for its efficiency in construction in terms of high tolerance, minimum waste and reduced time on site. The frame is left exposed internally to minimise follow-on trades while creating natural and welcoming spaces.

Ty Tikari, director, Tikari Works

Rye Apartments by Tikari Works3


Emphasis was placed on designing an efficient building with the minimal amount of material, embodied energy and cost. At the core of this effort for efficiency was the cross-laminated timber (CLT) frame, which is exposed on all load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls and ceilings. 

Within the CLT frame, delicate spruce joinery elements fill the structure to create spaces full of warmth and domesticity. Red quarry and terrazzo tiles punctuate these timber spaces, lining the bathrooms and hallways and draw together the inside and outside into a single unifying arrangement.  

From the outset, sustainable thinking was integrated into the design, so that it could be reflected in the quality of the living environment. Large, daylit spaces are complemented with a limited palette of materials in order to minimise visual clutter and create an atmosphere which is calm, tactile, and comforting. In addition to numerous passive strategies for energy reduction, other energy-saving features are introduced, such as PV panels, whole-house heat recovery ventilation, and high-performance solar control glazing, all set within a super-airtight envelope. In addition, dry construction techniques are deployed throughout the project, allowing for ease of recycling or re-use of material at the end of the building’s life.

Ty Tikari, director, Tikari Works

Rye Apartments by Tikari Works4

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Rye Apartments by Tikari Works 04

Selected products

Cross-laminated timber 
Stora Enso
Visual-quality CLT

Three-layer board
18mm three-layer spruce panels
Kitchen and internal panelling

Petersen Tegl
Cover tile c48

Quarry tiles
150 x 150 red quarry tiles
Hallway and bathroom floors and walls





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