Wildflowers and terraces top the stepped roofs of the innovative Church Walk housing block in north London. Architects David Mikail and Annalie Riches consulted the BRE Guide to Sunlight and Daylight to ensure that the new complex, which is comprised of two three-bedroom houses, a triplex and a one-bedroom flat, optimizes available light in each unit without blocking it for its neighbors. This is achieved through angled roofs and triangular roof lights that are visible from the street. Flip through our gallery for a closer look at the design duo's creative approach to urban density.
Constructed mostly with prefabricated cross laminate timber and Douglas Fir skirting, the Church Walk housing block sits on a brick base set in lime mortar. North-facing windows combined with the Ziggurat-like stepped roofs and skylights are designed to maximize natural light despite the compact arrangement, and each family has access to either a planted terrace or a wildflower green roof that mitigates rainwater runoff and protects urban biodiversity.
Clad on top with Siberian larch, each home is equipped with whole house ventilation and heat recovery, along with LED lighting, low temperature underfloor heating, triple glazing and superior air tightness – all of which address the need to curtail energy consumption. Every unit has its own entrance, and the designers have moved into one of them!