Barretts Grove is a Victorian street of terraced houses the potential monotony of which has been broken down by its builders with a variety of decorative arts and crafts treatments to door and window surrounds. At urban level later buildings such the rubble walled church, detached purpose built apartment blocks and the tall red gabled LCC school interrupted the uniformity of height and roofline.
Our new addition sits amongst these later standalone structures, on a narrow site stacking 6 flats (2 x 3bed, 1 x 1bed and 3 x 2bed) whose form adds to the punctuation of taller gable ends. The red brick double stacked open stretcher bond is a self-supporting façade intermittently tied back to the CLT superstructure to allow differential movement. Its colour echoes that of the school and Victorian apartment building to add some unity in the street scape, the perforations are there to demonstrate the façade is only that and not load bearing, further empathized by allowing the ‘skin’ to wrap across the roof, while the double stack aims to lend some assurance of solidity if not defensiveness. Given the slenderness of the building its window and door openings were left uniformly large but on a grid to maintain strength of form. Wicker is woven through oversized steel balconies to begin the introduction of softer domestic tactile elements that are carried through from the front gate locks to internal cabinetry, window seats and handles.
CLT is used for super structural walls, floors and roofs with external insulation, waterproofing and a vapour barrier before the brick skin. The application of a clear intumescent varnish allows the superstructure to remain exposed as the internal finish, with a floor build-up for heating, services and acoustic barrier with rubber bathroom tanking the only additional internal layers. The integration of structure and finishes reduced the expected embodied carbon by 15% and significantly lowered cost in materials, time and labour.