Iroko Housing, 2004

urban housing on London’s South Bank by Coin Street Community Builders

Site B represents the latest stage in the development of a group of sites totalling approximately 14 acres on the South Bank of the Thames by Coin Street Community Builders, (CSCB) a not for profit company which aims to provide affordable homes in the centre of the city. The proposals, which have been developed in consultation with community organisations, form a sustainable urban solution for the site whilst also addressing the wider social agendas in the vicinity.

CSCB have transformed this part of central London and become a model for community led urban regeneration. Previous projects include the refurbishment of OXO Tower Wharf, award winning co-operative housing at Broadwall, the creation of Bernie Spain Gardens and the completion of the South Bank Riverside Walkway.

Won through a limited competition, the development provided a masterplan to deliver 59 new dwellings, including 32 family houses and a mix of smaller flats and maisonettes over a 200 space car park, together with a neighbourhood centre and facilities building for CSCB. All the dwellings are for rent and are managed by a housing co-op formed by the residents.

The challenge for all inner-city housing is to reconcile the scale and monumentality demanded by the urban streetscape with the privacy and domesticity of homes. On such a prominent site, a strong typology was called for, one which could be understood easily by both the public and its residents. We sought a simple form which established very clear signals of public and private, but had sufficient presence to maintain the metropolitan buzz. The dwellings were therefore arranged around an open courtyard, a hollow square. That allowed communal space to be maximised in the form of a large landscaped garden.

The materials and architectural treatment acknowledges the public and private faces of the development, addressing the street and the courtyard in very different ways. The street façades are expressed as simple brick screens with deep window reveals, whilst the courtyard elevations are a more informal composition of gardens, balconies and timber cladding.

The scheme embodied many principles of sustainability, both in spatial planning and solar access. Each dwelling was given roof-mounted solar panels to produce domestic hot water. Insulation levels, ventilation systems and building materials were all specified for minimum environmental impact.

“The buildings really are exceptional by any local authority, housing association or housing charity standards, a breath of fresh air in polluted inner London.” Jonathan Glancey, The Guardian


coin street community builders, Coin Street Secondary Housing Co-operative

main contractor

mansell construction services

structural engineer

price & myers

services engineer

atelier ten

quantity surveyor

davis langdon

landscape architect

camlin lonsdale landscape architects

picture credits

Morley von Sternberg, Philip vile, alex ely, Etienne Clement, Carlos Domingues

2003 — Blueprint Architecture Awards, Best Residential Building: Iroko Housing
2002 — RIBA London Award: Iroko Housing
2002 — Housing Design Award (Completed Scheme): Iroko Housing

Behind the scenes
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