Four buildings containing 124 mixed-tenure apartments have been arranged around a communal garden in South Acton, London
The development forms part of the 2,350-home masterplan for the regeneration of the Acton Gardens estate, which is adjacent to South Acton Station. The project includes a new square that marks the entrance to the regeneration area.
Comprised of one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, Stitch’s scheme is split between three tenures: 70 per cent private housing, 6.5 per cent shared ownership and 23.5 per cent social rent.
The practice calls the project a ‘truly mixed community scheme’, with all residents having equal access to the shared garden.
’Just as it is impossible to identify the different tenures in the architecture and materials, the garden is equally democratic in its use by all residents,’ says the practice.
The project cost £26 million to build and was backed by housing association L&Q and developer Countryside Properties. It also comprises 200m² of commercial space.
The scheme features a high proportion of dual and triple aspect homes that benefit from the breaks in the building form to create corner views. A clear distinction is made between the external ‘skin’ and the soft, colourful interior of the scheme. The ‘skin’ is a formal brick façade punctured with large recessed openings, providing a consistent frontage to street and square. In contrast, the courtyard facades are a play of colour and light with projecting balconies moving past each other. The pale buff brick of these courtyard facades creates a striking contrast with the street facades and they overlap with ‘tabs’ wrapping around the corners, creating an invitation to see what is beyond.
The scheme design has at its core a celebration of the site context and the rich green legacy provided by existing mature trees on the site and adjacent allotments. The existing ash tree takes pride of place in the new station square and the building stands back to let light into the allotments and the courtyard beyond. The mature trees in the north-west of the site have been retained, creating a gap between the buildings and allowing late afternoon sunlight to enter the courtyard from the rear corner, giving the space a fluid quality: as the sun moves across the sky the light falls on the courtyard facades, and the varying colours of the laminated glass balustrades change with the light.
P3.1section aa site
Start on site Demolition June 2014, foundations November 2014
Completion December 2016
Gross internal floor area 14,570m² for entire development including communal areas, plant areas and car park
Total residential gross internal area 9,234m²
Net internal unit areas 50m² (1 bed), 73m² (2 bed), 97m² (3 bed)
Form of contract Construction Management
Construction cost £26.3 million (total project cost, inclusive of construction management fee)
Construction cost/m² £2,100
Executive architect bptw
Client Acton Gardens (L&Q and Countryside)
Structural engineer CTP
M&E consultant Mendick Waring
Planning Montague Evans
Project manager Countryside Properties (in partnership)
CDM co-ordinator Acton Gardens
Approved building inspector NHBC
Main contractor Acton Gardens (developer) with Countryside Properties (in partnership) as construction manager
CAD software used Vectorworks, Autocad
Annual CO2 emissions 9.7kg/m²