Modern one-storey residential building against blue sky
© David Cabrera © 2016

Case Study

Heath Lodge

Using Wienerberger's Marziale bricks, The Heath Lodge housing project in Ealing, London is an example of how site limitations can create opportunities.

Labelled as a complex and difficult site to develop, Autor Architecture created a concept that respects the environment as well as the wishes of residents and neighbours.

The site consists of an exposed front corner element and a concealed rear element. Ealing council released it for redevelopment in 2005. Attempts by others to develop the site failed for viability reasons.

To the front, the site’s constraints reduced the buildable area to about 35%. This included five root protection areas that penetrated the site. Additionally, the neighbouring properties were two-storey and did not provide useful building lines or height references. The rear part spanned the rear gardens of 35 neighbouring properties. Key constraints of the neighbours were overlooking, overshadowing, dominating impact, noise, privacy, amenity space and site access. The architects successfully worked with ten consultant teams to address and resolve each of the 48 reasons for refusal which were raised by the council.

Apart from these issues, the site is very valuable for housing as it has a good access to public transport, schools, community facilities, local shops and services. Therefore, a solution was needed to establish living space. The scheme was designed to ensure no adverse impact on the residential amenity of neighbouring properties in terms of sunlight, daylight, outlook or privacy.

The building volume was carefully examined for its relationship to the existing neighbourhood and with regard to building height and façade to façade distances. Daylight and sunlight assessments were undertaken to examine the scheme for overshadowing of neighbouring properties. The façades of the mews allow maximized outlook for residents but minimized the overlooking of existing neighbouring gardens by the installation of screens over some windows.

The choice of the type of brick played a key role into the design. The light colour and texture of Wienerberger’s Marziale brick give the building a warm and earthy character. Furthermore, the material allows the creation of a link between the new development and the neighbouring sites, integrating harmoniously into the urban surroundings. The neighbourhood’s general architectural style is late Edwardian and Victorian housing, as is generally found in suburban areas of London. All materials were chosen with consideration to reduced environmental impact.

Besides the use of sustainable materials, improved insulation values and renewable sources accounted for about 20% of the used energy on site. This included solar panels, under floor heating, heat recovery units and rain water harvesting. Water use was reduced by the use of dual flush toilets, low flow fittings and efficient appliances. Water butts for rainwater were to be installed in the private amenity space for irrigation.

Overall the scheme establishes a harmonious link between local heritage, urban design, constraints & opportunities, site layout and floor plan functionality. 29 residential dwellings including 18 affordable homes were constructed, with ancillary parking, landscaping and amenity space.

Project Summary

  • Location: Ealing, London
  • Client: Leo Developments Ltd.
  • Architect: Autor Architecture

Products Used

Window in modern brick building

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