Steyne Road

Study to the densification of a postwar housing ensemble in London Ealing

On a sloping site around two 22-storey residential towers, there is space for new construction. The complex seems out of scale with its surroundings. The context is not easy to interpret. Opposite the towers is a modern supermarket with a large car park. The oldest generation of houses in the neighbourhood are about 120 years old. They are mostly semi-detached houses in the characteristic bay window architecture of the time. The more recent residential buildings are larger and coarser.

It has been proposed to divide the necessary building programme into seven different blocks, all of which are vertically articulated. Oddly, the shape of the towers provided the precedent for adapting the new dwellings to the scale of housing around the ensemble.

The two residential towers are connected by a new plinth that forms a square where the entrances and small working spaces are located. The plinth forms the edge of an underground car park that otherwise remains invisible.

The new dwellings follow the typology of the urban palazzo. They have a simple finish of brickwork, prefabricated concrete and steel railings.

With Smith & Taylor Architects, London