Archway is an urban, densely populated area on the outer edge of Zone 2 of London, featuring a combination of old and contemporary city fabric.
The proposed design creates open community space, whilst at the same time providing each living unit with its own private entrance. The one bedroom maisonettes are entered from the South side, while access to the two bedroom maisonnettes is via a generous open air staircase from the Northern side at Brookside Road. This innovative layout maximises space and light for both the internal and external spaces in each maisonette.
All maisonettes are organised on a single level (in contrast to smaller footprints with narrow vertical living typical of the Victorian terrace typology) reducing the need for individual staircases, whilst providing generous apartment widths of approximately 7 metres.
This optimized layout provides a fantastic and generous spatial quality, with level South facing external amenity spaces, creating a smooth transition between the inside and the outside. Oversight issues have been solved by providing semi transparent screening, providing privacy for residents and neighbours alike. The open communal staircase minimizes maintenance and provides space for refuse storage tucked underneath.
A combination of passive measures and proven, cost-effective active technologies would form the strategy of an integrated, sustainable development. For example rainwater recycling systems, natural wind driven ventilation and higher thermal mass aiming for zero heating space requirements. Domestic hot water can be provided by wood pellet boiler and solar thermal panels.