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Daykin Marshall wins go-ahead for Highgate flats

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South-London based Daykin Marshall Studio has won planning permission for this nine flat scheme in Highgate

The emerging practice, which was recently among the runners-up in the RIBA’s Sessay cricket pavilion contest, claims the building ‘reinterprets the mansion house typology’ and was inspied by ‘Parisian apartments, Edinburgh New Town tenements and the mansion blocks of West London’.

The 1,730m² north London development will replace a pair of small semi-detached houses within the Highgate Conservation Area.

Designed with a facetted and undulating facade to ‘break down’ traffic noise from the nearby A1, the scheme feature eight apartments arranged over four floors with a penthouse taking up the entire fifth storey.

The practice hopes work could start on the scheme later this year.

Daykin Marshall, Highgate apartments (concept sketch)

The architect’s view

‘The scheme is characterised by a strong street facade, a set-back upper level, and a central stair accessing spacious single-level dwellings. The street frontage of the site faces north and abuts the A1 arterial road. The facetted facade has folded windows that enable views east and west while responding to the traditional bays on the buildings opposite. The undulating surface will also disperse sound waves to ‘break down’ traffic noise. The red brick harmonises with the local streetscape and is enlivened with a ‘fleck’ of dark headers to give a subtle pattern and refinement. The penthouse is clad in anodised aluminium to visually lighten the upper storey by the rich reflectivity of its surface. Window frames and balcony railings echo this material as highlights within the brickwork.

‘The central entrance hall offers a view and route straight through to communal gardens at the rear. This part of the site overlooks Highgate golf course and greenery flows right up to the building with parking spaces hidden below the landscaping. The south-facing garden facade has large recessed balconies for the magnificent views and to provide solar shading over the extensive glazing. Soild parts of the elevation in white brick signify the difference between the front and back of the building and set up a relationship with the white concrete balconies of the 1930s ‘liner’ flats to the east.

‘Internally, the apartments maximise the light available from their triple aspect and provide well-planned, uncluttered spaces. Bedrooms are typically behind the street facade to allow open-plan kitchen/dining spaces on the bright garden facade. Sound levels in street-facing bedrooms will be managed by glazing specification and low level mechanical ventilation (similar to a Passivhaus system) that provides fresh air without the need to open windows.

‘The penthouse makes use of its set-back for extensive terraces that will enjoy views as far as Hampstead. The roof level is lifted above the dining/living space for grandeur and to create a ‘lantern’ on the west facade that is visible as drivers speed towards London.’

Daykin Marshall, Highgate apartments (model view)

Project data

Project name: Highgate apartment Building
Location: Aylmer Road, London
Client: private developer
Start on site: planned for 2015
Area: 1,350m² GIA with 380m² buried parking
Landscaping: scheme set in 1,500m² landscaped grounds
Apartment types: no. six two-bedroom flats and no. three three-bedroom flats
Apartment areas: 110m2 - 160m2 penthouse
Estimate Build cost Confidential

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