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Bell Phillips wins approval for south London council housing

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Bell Phillips Architects has won planning permission for three new council-housing schemes backed by the London Borough of Sutton

The projects will create 93 affordable homes on three sites in the south London borough, replacing a number of disused local authority-owned buildings including a youth centre, garages and a care home.

According to the practice, which was appointed by the council through the Transport for London (Tfl) framework agreement, each of the schemes is a ’tailored response to its location’.

Hari Phillips, director at Bell Phillips Architects, said: ’Our proposals respond to the varied contexts of each site with schemes that provide well-designed new homes and explore established typologies. The borough [has] allowed us once again to demonstrate that social housing provision and high quality architecture can – and should – go hand in hand.’

The project – site by site

Century House

This site is occupied by a disused youth centre and play area and bordered by the rear gardens of neighbouring post-war terraced houses. The scheme responds to this context with 15 two-bed and three-bed houses, arranged as three short terraces. Steep roof pitches develop a contemporary relationship with existing properties and provide bedroom and storage space.
Street-facing gable ends provide a strong street presence and, at key points, reference the Arts and Crafts style of celebrating the corner where they mark a new route into the development. A rusticated brick plinth at ground floor level continues in places as a garden wall, tying the development together and providing additional texture and visual interest. Purpose built steel screens will hide services such as meter cupboards, while enhancing the front elevation of each home.

Bell Phillips Architects' approved Century House plans

Bell Phillips Architects’ approved Century House plans

Bay Study

Ludlow Lodge

The plot will provide 57 flats on the site of a former council-owned care home and garages. A mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments provides accommodation for a mixed range of inhabitants.

The scheme next to a Grade II-listed church is arranged as five pavilion blocks which vary in height between three and five storeys. A staggered arrangement and gaps between the blocks break down their volumes, and the development introduces more green space than currently on the site. Pitched roof forms reference the church and its vicarage, complementing the development’s conservation area setting. Brick cladding reflects the predominance of brick in existing nearby buildings, while tall windows and prominent dormers – articulated with metal fins – create a strong vertical rhythm across the pavilions’ elevations. This rhythm mirrors that of the church, and creates a campus feeling across the old and new buildings.

Richmond Green

The third site lies on the edge of a post-war housing estate, overlooking open land and the River Wandle. Here a row of one-bed bungalows will be replaced by 21 new family homes, arranged as a ‘staggered terrace’ of semi-detached houses. Pairs of two- and three-bed houses, slightly offset from each other, are connected to neighbouring pairs by a single storey dining room which encloses a shared courtyard. Pitched roofs undulate across the site, and the houses’ alignment achieves a strong rhythm along a shallow crescent.

The houses will be clad in brick, while in-situ timber shuttered concrete, tinted to a pink colour, will clad the courtyards to provide a contrasting texture and colour. A large number of mature trees will be retained, allowing the development achieve a gentle presence overlooking the River Wandle and preserving much of the area’s existing character.

Bell Phillips Architects' approved Richmond Green scheme in Sutton

Bell Phillips Architects’ approved Richmond Green scheme in Sutton

Bay study

Bell phillips architects sutton map of sites

Bell phillips architects sutton map of sites

Map of sites


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