New multi-unit apartment designs, Rowan Gardens, Croydon, South-London – February 2019
These 4x four-bedroomed, 3 storey apartments in Croydon were designed within the London Town Planning regulations for the minimum space-planning requirements. Whilst these parameters are used as a guideline preferably, apartment design would and should be created in the most spacious means as possible. This is especially challenging in affordable housing developments, but rewarding for Architect and Developer.
With our practice performing designs from Thailand to Cape Town, performing stringent space-planning exercises in these tight urban environments in London, makes for a true eye-opener to space availability in this age-old city. To truly appreciate space in its abundance in Thailand or Cape Town is to perform space-planning exercises for multi-unit residential developments in London, England. Whilst they may be pushed for space, the process of design for these types of affordable housing developments is much less forgiving, but highly effective in being forced to consider the highest means of space efficiency possible. Imagine are renowned for a high degree of eccentricity in their designs and were approached for their angles towards innovative space-planning design and originality in signature architecture.
The top floor bedrooms with a study placed at the base of a unique dominantly vertical bay window cast within the roof pitch was the primary silhouette signature for the design. These plays on roof form and window design integrated within each other create a playfulness that was targeted towards a middle-income bracket and millennial purchaser appeal. Given the fact that the developers intentions were to target the first-time buyer markets for units of this size and scale this playfulness was considered to be well addressed. So an exuberant, jolly, energy inducing visual design approach was essential in elevation design philosophy. Unusual, different, non-traditional. Such associations in form derivation and character relate well with the target market direction as a first principle.
This not only worked well in the architectural design, but also for the trends in the Croydon, south London areas which were and are looking to uplift the area with new approaches to form, aesthetics and materials. The famous artist Mondrian’s unique proportions of orthogonal line shape-shifting are picked up well in the window mullion designs within the fenestration. Deep, punctured windows for efficient solar control are also set out of alignment, creating the playfulness in the elevation design. This was also created to keep a visual line of sight privacy in the bedrooms from lower level pedestrians whilst having a view out towards south London. The smaller windows set lower to the finished floor levels encourage a bright sight of a view from bed lying lines of sight whilst maintaining the degrees of privacy.
This match of functionality, design and playfulness conclude a rich, innovative approach to the overall design. Light yellow face-brick colour palettes were proposed to the outside face of the building, not just for the new Croydon Borough material preferences for longevity, but also to be reminiscent of shades of some of the trendy developments in East London and Shad Thames. While the raised profile metal roof sheeting created at usual angles to traditional roof pitches accentuates a vibrant, tectonic overall design to its crown.
In conclusion the design was well accepted by local Borough and Developer.