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Collective Works wins go-ahead for townhouse on ‘accidental plot’

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East London-based Collective Works has won permission to build this five-level townhouse on an ‘impossible’ 49m² site in Elephant and Castle

The practice was approached by the client behind the interior revamp of the neighbouring Grade II-listed Elephant House about what to do with the tiny site previously used to house a skip during construction work.

The studio came up with proposals for a white brick-clad, three-bedroom family home featuring large areas of perforated brick screening on its side elevation to allow light in.

Collective Works’ partner Siri Zanelli, who studied at the University of Tokyo and previously worked at Fosters + Partners and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, said: ‘The client came to us wondering if their plot of land was too small for a building. With my background working with very small houses on tight plots in Japan, this was the perfect challenge and we secured planning for a 160m² family home, something the client thought was impossible.’

She added: ‘[The client] started investigating whether the empty piece of land, that was neither a garden nor designated parking, could be a building plot, and subsequently gained planning permission for a family home on the accidental plot.’

The three-storey house has been designed to Lifetime Homes Standards and enjoys daylight from three directions as well as views to the Shard from the roof terrace.

Construction work is expected to begin this year.

Axo

Axo

Project data

Location Elephant and Castle, London SE17
Type of project townhouse/residential new build
Client L’Accrued Limited
Architect Collective Works
Planning consultant Stratagem Planning
Funding Private
Tender date To be confirmed
Gross internal floor area 160m²
Form of contract To be confirmed
Total cost To be confirmed

Collective works townhouse mezzanine

Collective works townhouse mezzanine

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