- Whistler Street, London N5, UK
- CHANCE DE SILVA
Glazed staircase lightwell
Furnaces, smelting works and signal stations are the inspiration for the pair of houses near the new Arsenal football ground in North London. Two houses are inserted into the wedge-shaped site on the end of the terrace.
Steel, timber and engineering polymers are all used. The new construction props the party wall in place of the old brick buttresses, leaving the exposed wall on one side of the lightwell, with smooth wood panelling on the other.
The walls of the main house are clad with Cor-Ten steel panels which weather to an oxidised brown finish. The roof light opposite is a polycarbonate box. The overhanging timber box containing the bedroom on the top floor, and the smaller house to the rear, are covered with rough-sawn larch.
Sustainable water management and surface water drainage is an increasingly important issue in London, and the smaller house is designed with a sedum roof.
Corner windows give an all-round view. The lightwell in the gap between the main house and the terrace neighbour is fully glazed. There is a glass passageway linking the two houses.
The U-values and other thermal properties had to be calculated for each custom-designed element to ensure minimal carbon footprint. The carbon emissions were assessed to allow a trade-off between the light-providing glazed areas and primary energy use.