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Chance Street by Stephen Taylor Architects

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More Homes, Better Homes: The AJ presents twelve exemplar housing schemes

This project for three houses occupies a small infill site in Bethnal Green. The brief asked us to bring residential use to the site in line with the local authority’s policy for housing growth and the borough’s intensification of brownfield urban sites.

These compact city dwellings explore the somewhat forgotten themes of intimacy and proximity through a level of urban intensification cognizant of the 18th century small London house typology that once occupied the site. Flat-fronted and abutting their neighbours, they lie firmly in support of the street and continue to define its character.

The 12 x 9m site with a single east-facing aspect to Chance Street is divided into three plots, each occupied by a three-storey house. Light and air are brought into the rear by a series of small courtyards with white clay brick walls and these wholly private spaces are animated and illuminated by the extensive glazed elevations that open onto them. The configuration of the houses anticipates a shifting of their occupants’ use over time and rooms are designed with a view to hosting a range of activities across each level.

Stephen Taylor, director, Stephen Taylor Architects

Recommendation: Anne Mews, Barking, London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Maccreanor Lavington


We take a great interest in housing that has a concern for place making and that shows consideration for the public spaces that it defines. One such project is the affordable housing scheme at Anne Mews by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Maccreanor Lavington, which forms a part of Barking’s King William Street Quarter masterplan.

There is a collective effort by the two architects to return to the traditional idea of small scale streets serving as a shared public realm inhabited by residents that also gives back to the civic life of the city.

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