Plans submitted by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Alison Brooks Architects (ABA) for the second stage of Brent Council’s South Kilburn Masterplan were approved at a meeting of the council’s planning committee last week. The developments span a 2.09 hectare site in the London suburb of South Kilburn, replacing three isolated estates with 144 new dwellings.
Situated at the gateway to the historic quarter identified in the overarching South Kilburn Masterplan, the scheme reinstates the urban form and street pattern which characterised the area before post-war development – a traditional model of villas fronting the main road with mews houses to the rear, restoring a nineteenth century route, Alpha Mews. Running the length of the scheme and linking the developments, the ‘spine’ route is made up of shared surfaces, play areas, gardens and defined public and private spaces overlooked by balconies and roof gardens.
The team of LDS and ABA won the project in a two-stage design competition last year. It forms the second stage in the overall master plan, which will remain ongoing until 2025.
ABA’s scheme is a collection of three building typologies of up to four storeys: apartment terrace, flatiron building and mews houses knitted between existing eleven storey apartment blocks. Street frontages are animated with front porches, recessed balconies and roof gardens create a layering of landscape and highly articulated, rhythmic facades.
A continuous frontage along Cambridge Avenue adjacent to Kilburn Park Station repairs the historic street pattern, while the modern brick facades of the Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ scheme reflect the formality of the Victorian villas opposite - the consistency in height and detail punctuated by taller recessed linking elements which act as vertical markers along the street. Articulated entrances, recessed windows and roof gardens add interest and depth to the façades of the mews at the rear.