Vicarage Road, Leyton, London E5 (UK)
This new development was born out of two principles: back land character of the site and existing greenery around. The proposal sees an addition of four mews-like houses with a position and layouts that emulate the back-land character of the site by carefully displacing their volumes horizontally and vertically.
This approach sees each shape jotting in or out and changing constantly, rejecting a monolithic, block-like appearance that would otherwise cut the greenery in half and be visually intrusive to the surrounding.
The playful displacement of the new volumes allows visual porosity and connection between the front and the rear of the plot, allowing the residents at nos. 40-44 and the surrounding buildings to see the greenery seeping through in between the new houses.
In order to further protect the view of the greenery around, the new houses are sunk into the ground and are only two storeys high above the ground level, with the second storey broken into room-size volumes. All the existing trees will be preserved on site and the main principle, aside from breaking the volume and offering sight lines, is to reinvent the archetype of a shed in an urban context, with visually appealing green living walls on the first storey and green roofs that will increase the biodiversity of the current natural habitat.
The windows and doors have deep reveals and are framed by deep green metal frames that guarantee total privacy. The entrance doors are cladded in the same timber and disappear within the façade, only visible through a deep timber door frame that annotates the entrance to each of the houses.
Overall, the organic timber cladding of the ground floor combined with the intensified green of the first storey makes this new development sit comfortably within its context, subtly fusing urban with natural.