Residential Scheme in Southwark

Residential Scheme in Southwark

Jenny Fitzgerald
Associate Director

October 2019

We have submitted a planning application for 36 residential units of mixed tenure, on a backland site near Surrey Quays in Southwark, for client Bugler Developments.


Currently the site is occupied by a builders’ yard, is under-used and is at odds with the residential gardens which back on to it.

The triangular shaped site is surrounded by residential properties on three sides and as such we have designed an inward-facing courtyard housing development.

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Four separate blocks maintain visual permeability though the site and are orientated in an east-west direction, so the proposed accommodation faces away from the surrounding properties and in towards their own landscaped courtyard spaces. This creates a quieter, more intimate setting, befitting of the site’s backland character. The courtyards are also positioned to the south of the blocks to maximise the amount of sunlight they receive.

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The massing of the scheme, which varies throughout the site, has been informed by the surrounding properties and is comparable in scale and height. The angled footprints of the blocks, together with set back elements in the massing and cut out balconies on the top floors, create more sculpted building forms.

The architectural design concept follows the rationale of the form of the buildings, picking up the orientation of the blocks and their internal layouts. The concept is therefore one of two faces; key aspect faces towards the courtyard areas and secondary, 'bookends' facing away from the courtyards.


This two-face concept is expressed through the material treatment. A pale cream brickwork is proposed on the main inward-facing facades, towards the open green courtyard spaces. A contrasting, darker London stock brick is proposed on the outward facing bookends. This approach animates the buildings and varies the appearance when viewed from different parts of the site.

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A simple palette of materials is used in a way which adds layers of interest and texture. Details, such as brick corbelling, sawtooth brick corners, soldier coursing and timber handrails on the balconies, will help to bring a finer grain to the building’s appearance. Olive green window frames provide understated colour and soften the brickwork facades. These details will tie the contrasting brick tones together, ensuring a sophisticated, high quality and distinct development.

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