This housing scheme aimed at the private-rented sector in London makes the most of a restricted site
This development of six houses occupies a former derelict yard in the heart of the Ravenscourt and Starch Green Conservation Area, next to Ravenscourt Park. The scheme, designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, had to resolve a tight site, overlooked by neighbouring properties and next to a locally listed terrace. The solution is a contemporary response to the local vernacular, with five three-storey houses forming a terrace which steps forward incrementally along its length. A sixth, two-storey, house is built within the walls of Latymer House, which once stood on the site.
The houses are entered from a cobbled courtyard, which provides six parking spaces, and residents share mature communal gardens conceived in the spirit of similar, albeit larger, garden communities in West London.
The terrace is detailed in buff-coloured brick with shallow-pitched zinc roofs and aluminium framed windows. The dark zinc dresses down the western gable wall and the entrance porches. The sixth house is built from a darker brick to match the retained walls.
Spatially generous, with light-filled interiors, the houses are designed to be flexible in layout. A steel frame structure gives the flexibility to break through laterally, and there are no load-bearing elements between party walls, which allows for future change. Unusually, the houses were designed for the private rental market, which demands an appropriate robustness and the ability to be redecorated easily.
The buildings go beyond Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) level 4 through the upgrade of façade performance in line with Code 5 requirements. Excellent airtightness levels and thermal performance are achieved through the careful consideration of thermal bridging and solar gain, the use of heavily insulated wall and roof construction, and triple glazing.