Bryden Wood has completed a contextually-sensitive infill-housing scheme in London


Don Lewis, Jocelyn Low

Designed by Bryden Wood, Churchwood Gardens is a 71-unit residential scheme in Forest Hill, south London. Comprising nine cedar-clad buildings on an 8,270-square-metre site, it is a rental-only development focused on sustainable, modern living integrated within a refurbished landscaped garden.


The £14m scheme draws its inspiration from the plot’s unusual sloped gradient and potential for green spaces, says the architect. Given that the site sits within a typical Victorian terrace, local residents were concerned about how the development would affect the area’s traditional character. The residential units correspond to the proportions of neighbouring homes, preserving original sightlines and privacy for both new and old occupants. Despite its size, the scheme remains virtually hidden from sightlines of the streets.

Typical floor plan; section

All the residential units are designed to the principles of the National Housing Federation’s good practice guide, the London Plan requirements. This has resulted in generously sized interiors, high levels of daylighting from full-height windows in living spaces and bedrooms, as well as decks and balconies.


Externally, red-timber Cedar cladding was chosen to create a soft texture and colour, extending the urban garden feeling of the overall site, says the architect. Two distinct patterns have been used to differentiate between more open and private spaces, with cedar board used for open areas and cedar shingle for exteriors facing neighbouring properties.


Designed by Davis Landscape Architecture, the garden provides residents with something more than just outdoor space. It pairs relaxation areas and a central glade with practical green elements, such as log structures and places for composting. Environmental design features include sustainable urban drainage systems, photovoltaic panels and green roofs.

Additional Images


Architect, Structure, services
Bryden Wood
Davis Landscape Architecture
Main contractor
Wicklow Projects
Loromah Estates