Essex Mews

MW Architects have picked up a clutch of awards for Essex Mews, a development of three new houses in Crystal Palace designed for Solid Space Developments.

Working with Roger Zogolovitch and boutique developers Solid Space, we created these contemporary mews houses as a 21st century alternative to the classic Victorian terrace.

Over the years, Solid Space had observed how UK homeowners snap up period properties then set about knocking down walls, adapting them to modern lifestyles. In response to this, they adopted a housing typology whereby the main living areas each occupy a half landing, connected by a short flight of stairs, with no cramped corridors or poky landings.

MW Architects applied this approach to a difficult sloping site within a conservation area in south-east London, previously occupied by garages, to produce three three-bedroom houses. We were able to exploit the natural topography of the site to give the impression of small mews houses at the front, which open up to reveal a bright, airy space inside that maximises floor area and responds to the way we live today.  The three main communal spaces – eat, play, work – are linked by a half flight of stairs under a double-height ceiling to further enhance the feeling of space and interconnectedness. Upstairs, the bedrooms are similarly staggered, with a central spine wall and doors providing greater privacy.

Each house is positioned to ensure maximum exposure to natural light, whilst maintaining light levels in neighbouring properties – no mean feat on a compact site on a steep incline.  Similarly, we had to consider carefully the orientation of each property to guarantee privacy for the owners and their neighbours.  Externally, traditional forms have been given contemporary twists so over-sized porches mimic the large ground floor mews house opening; and standard bricks have been replaced with modern slimline versions. In this way, we were able to satisfy the planning department whilst staying true to the Solid Space ideals. Each house benefits from generous outside space including a private garden, off-street parking and bin store.

All three properties were sold soon after completion in 2012. MW Architects went on to win the Blue Ribbon Awards Housing Architect of the Year, the Evening Standard New Homes Award and a RIBA Regional Award for the project in 2013.


One Comment

  1. Gus wrote:

    What a great job!