An urban brownfield in London has been reborn as a beautiful and contemporary community with three live/work houses, all of which incorporate sustainable design elements. Local design firm Stolon Studio led the redevelopment of the property, now known as Forest Mews, and arranged the homes around a shared outdoor courtyard. The energy-efficient community minimizes its environmental footprint with a sustainable drainage system (SuDs) that combines green roofs, living walls, rainwater harvesting, and more for better stormwater management practices.
Unlike traditional mews, the three two-story homes are airy and filled with natural light—a challenge since the site is landlocked on all sides. Built from pale ‘stock’ bricks, each steel-framed structure was carefully placed on-site and individually designed to maximize natural light and views through large triple-glazed walls while providing privacy. Thick insulation inserted in the walls, floors, and roof creates a balance between natural light and thermal performance.
The homes face a shared multifunctional courtyard landscaped with a geometric pattern of resin-bound gravel and grass strips laid out to look like a ground-plane extension of the brick columns. Trellis netting provides support for climbing plants that grow across the building facade to provide privacy and shade. In addition to the common courtyard, each home opens out to a semi-private courtyard that serves as an outdoor extension to the indoor open-plan living space. Green roofs top the sustainable live/work community to help slow stormwater flow, which is collected and recycled. Underfloor heating is used throughout.
Images © Robert Barker