St John’s Grove

A project for the Peabody Trust in Islington, London, where an existing brownfield site was repurposed to provide 8 new social rented apartments designed to Lifetime Homes and London Housing Design Guide standards.

The structural frame can accommodate future conversion to wheelchair standard apartments as all internal walls are non-load bearing. The highly insulated facades are a modulated GRC rain screen panel system manufactured off-site to reduce on-site carbon emissions and can be replaced/ reconfigured as required. Energy efficient combination framed glazing providing generous amounts of daylighting.

The demountable and reconfigurable external circulation stairs, balustrades and first floor terrace incorporate frameless glazed balustrades to allow natural light through to the ground floor amenity space, with angled bay windows to the courtyard avoiding overlooking between apartments. The language of frameless glass balustrades continues to all external private terraces. Recessed windows and sliding doors provide access to terraces without compromising internal circulation.

Each apartment incorporates a mixed mode ventilation system of mechanical intake/extract and additional purge through manually operated louvers to all bedrooms and living/ kitchen/ dining areas. Services to each block are arranged in a ‘central core’ to create active frontages to the North and South elevations and reduce internal services distribution requirements.

The blocks are arranged to provide a high net to gross ratio due to shared first floor access, creating a reduction in circulation space within the units. All apartments incorporate private terraces to upper levels, with private external space to the ground floor one bed units, and each apartment has access to private and shared amenity space, with 50% of the site retained as open space.

The ground to first floor height is 4.5m high with a floor to ceiling height of 3.5m for maximum daylighting. The first and second floors are 3m high, with a floor to ceiling height of 2.5m for maximum daylighting. Each block can be configured as follows:

2 no. three storey townhouses (4 total).

2 no. ground floor fully accessible one bed apartments (4 total) and 2 no. first/ second floor three bed duplexes (4 total).

2 no. ground floor retail/ commercial units (4 total) that can be interconnected to form single larger units with 2 no. two bed apartments at first floor (4 total) and 2 no. one bed studios (4 total) at second floor.

A mix of these options is also possible, creating a fully flexible development that caters to a range of social and economic needs.

Brown roofs and roof mounted solar cells promote biodiversity and the use of renewable energy sources, with buried storage tanks containing rainwater for window cleaning, watering plants and communal growing in the shared perimeter planting spaces. The development is designed to be car-free with off street cycle racks for 20 bicycles and bus/ tube services in easy walking distance.

Client – Peabody Trust
Type – Residential, Urban Design
Location – Islington, London, UK
Status – Open Competition