img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Housing specified: Idlewild Mews, Croydon

Words:
Catherine Pease

vPPR reveals the what and why of its specification decisions for an infill housing scheme in south London, marrying a specific identity with a contextual response

ARCHITECT’S STATEMENT
Catherine Pease, director, vPPR Architects

Idlewild Mews, an affordable rent, eight-unit housing scheme, uses a playful combination of form and materials to unlock a challenging, narrow infill site. Volumetric design gives nearby residents privacy while engendering a sense of community within the development. It’s characterful shape and materiality offer the homes a sense of identity, yet they are clear references to the built landscape.

A chequerboard pattern of different coloured brick on the exterior further mitigates its perceived mass. The bricks were inspired by the tonal palette of neighbouring properties and ensure the contemporary architecture fits its surroundings. The terraces are wrapped in folded metal balustrades adding to a sense of light and shadow, while in-built planters act as an additional buffer zone.

A diamond pattern running along the access-way breaks down its length and a change in colour outside the front doors demarcates a small shared space. With benches opposite the main building, it is hoped this simple hard landscape will encourage dwell time and conversations between residents. Little moments of communality will help reinforce a sense of community, which can be achieved through design on a modest budget.  

The development occupies a former garage site and is completely surrounded by existing houses, with glimpses of the new project appearing from across gardens and over fences. A narrow pathway leads to the front of the homes where the volumes have been alternately pushed back to create covered entrances on the ground floor and terraces on the first. Inward focused to prevent overlooking, these can be accessed directly from living rooms and bedrooms, bringing light and air into the upper level of the homes. 

 

Gross internal floor area 527m²
Gross external floor area 624m2
Form of contract  Design & Build 
Start on site September 2020
Completion date August 2022
 

Credits

Architect & executive architect vPPR Architects
Client Croydon Council
Structural engineer Arcadis/Pell Frischmann 
M&E consultant Arcadis/Desco
QS Arcadis Ian Sayer & Co
Landscape consultant Christina Odell
Acoustic consultant Arcadis
Principal designer/CDM/Project manager Arcadis/Faithful+Gould
Approved building inspector Croydon Council Building Control 
Main contractor Selsdon Building Contractors
CAD software used Vectorworks

 

Latest

Upcycled limestone bricks bring warmth and precision detailing to domestic extension by Draper Studio

Draper Studio adds warmth and precision detailing with upcycled limestone bricks

Smith & Taylor Architects has transformed a dilapidated London house into an artist’s home, studio and gallery that luxuriates in classical references

Artist’s home, studio and gallery luxuriates in classical references

Reimagine a London museum, masterplan a Yorkshire port or restore a Scottish castle: these are some of the latest architecture competitions and contracts from across the industry

Latest: Western Range galleries, British Museum

The hurdles of low-carbon design as well as issues of longevity, inclusion and how capitalism gives little value to good architecture were all discussed by this year's RIBAJ Rising Stars at a recent roundtable

Sustainbility, longevity and capitalism were all discussed by this year’s RIBAJ Rising Stars at a recent roundtable

When ADP Architecture reconfigured an office building as a specialist music school, it found the atrium surprisingly well-suited to conversion into an acoustically tuned and flexible performance space

ADP Architecture on how it designed Birmingham music school