Edward Williams Architects completes all-timber housing | Infill plot

Edward Williams Architects has unveiled a residential housing development, comprising of four, sustainable timber buildings constructed to be low carbon and all-electric. 

The all-Scandinavian-pine-clad scheme, known as the Chobham Road development, has been built on an underused carpark for developer Cliveden Land in the London Borough of Newham. The new 800 square-metre project is formed in two L-shaped blocks, positioned alongside existing housing to create two courtyards. Together they create nine apartments, including four three-bed, three two-bed, and two one-bed semi-detached homes. 

Conjoined in ‘L’ shapes, the timber-clad building blocks are designed to complement the existing brick façades and give a ‘warm’ feel to the backyards

Designed to be very low carbon upon completion, and zero carbon in the medium-term future, the structure was built using approximately 400 cubic metres of timber and has captured 400 tonnes of CO2. Sustainability has been considered across the design and construction processes, for instance materials offering a very high degree of thermal efficiency have been specified throughout the project.

“We have used off-site prefabrication and cross-laminated timber (CLT) to deliver modern, light and sustainable housing on this back land site,” explains Laura Carrara-Cagni, Director at Edward Williams Architects.

“The Scandinavian pine façades have crisp hit-and-miss batten detailing to create a textured rhythm of timber and shadow, with painted aluminium trims to mark the edges, floor levels, window and door openings.”

“The buildings feature edge-to-edge photovoltaic-panelled pitched roofs inclined to allow daylight into the existing ground floors, as indicated by the daylight and sunlight study. Pitches feature skylights to add daylight into the flats, especially on north-facing side in order to avoid heat gain,” Laura Carrara-Cagni continues.  

On sunny days the PV panels will power 100% of the communal demand, including the electric car charging points, with excess power fed back to the grid.

The imaginative infill design is exemplary of how there’s plenty of scope for other underused car parks to provide space for future housing and to help create a better environment. Through modern landscaping, the carefully composed layout creates areas of communal lawns, block planting, and scented herbs along with considered colours and textures give the residents plenty to enjoy. 

Little intervention is needed, as landscape designer Rupert Muldoon explains that “the aim was to create a near self-regulating landscape, with draught tolerant plants so no irrigation system was required.” The car park also has a porous surface which allows rainfall to soak away, naturally replenishing ground water. 

The highly insulated buildings and underfloor electric heating minimise the demand for electricity within the apartments

Photography by Agnese Sanvito.

Discover more inspirational and sustainable spaces designed by Edward Williams Architects.

Take a look at more architecture and sustainability news on enki, and don’t miss the latest book release from research practice Material Cultures which is an accessible guide to post-carbon architecture.

Looking for Something?