Description of Walthamstow Housing
Architecture for London's Walthamstow Housing proposal regenerates a neglected site to provide 26 new homes for private rent, with affordable creative start-up space at ground floor. The build to rent model enables the delivery of high-quality homes with a new focus on catering for long-term tenancies.
In contrast to the insecurity of traditional private rental accommodation, build to rent has the potential to revolutionise property in the UK, creating truly desirable homes for rent.
Access decks to the internal courtyard allow all front doors to the apartments to be external. Planters next to each door give residents the opportunity to personalise the exterior of their home. All flats also feature large balconies for outdoor dining.
The new building will meet the GLA target of 35% on site carbon reduction through thermal insulation, airtightness, MVHR, flue gas heat recovery, air source heat pumps, thermal mass and PV panels. Offsite contributions will also be made towards zero carbon. Due to its proximity to good public transport and local amenities the development will be car-free, with cycling encouraged through the provision of secure, on-site bicycle parking.
The street facade draws inspiration from the aspirational character of the nearby (now demolished) film studio’s arched facade. It is designed as a classically inspired folly in the tradition of the 19th and early 20th-century industrial context in Walthamstow.
The tight grain of the columns borrows directly from the elevation of the film studios building; however, it also introduces a new architectural effect: various readings of the elevation are possible from different points on the street. From oblique angles, the close spacing and relative depth of the brick columns dominate, obscuring views of the glazing behind. When viewed straight-on, the elevation becomes permeable and transparent, revealing the life of the building within.
This effect comes alive due to the active nature of the high street location: the facade permeability shifts as it is read in motion by the continuous flow of people walking along the high street.