Architecture Initiative reflects the suburban context in an apartment development in south-west London


Ben Blossom

A residential development at Pirbright Road in Southfields, London, designed by Architecture Initiative for developer Style & Space, has been built on a site that had been occupied by commercial garages since the 1920s. The project comprises four duplex and four lateral apartments within a block composed as a contemporary reinterpretation of a Victorian terrace.


The building responds to the aesthetic of the rest of the street with paired, gabled facades. Along the front elevation, the facades align initially with the neighbouring buildings but step back at intervals to follow the angle of the road. The development comprises four floors, including a basement, so the volumes are proportional in massing to the rest of the street.


The facade composition is structured by several key parameters: continuing the vertical rhythm of the street, mirroring the protruding bay windows, and aligning horizontally with features of the adjacent buildings, including the ridges and eaves heights. The red brickwork also complements the existing streetscape, while the flat red roof tiles impart a seamless, unified appearance.

The development contains three 3-bedroom and five 2-bedroom self-contained units, either privately owned or rented. Each unit is accessible from the street, with units 1-4 arranged over the basement and ground floors, and 5-8 are open-plan, across a single storey. The bedrooms are arranged at the front and rear of the plan for daylighting, while bathrooms are stacked in the centre.

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