Stolon Studio expertly handles the relationship between public and private space at an innovative live-work development in south London


Robert Barker

Located on a former light industrial site in south London, Kaolin Court is a residential-led, mixed-use development organised around a shared courtyard garden.  Designed by Stolon Studio in association with Baca Architects, the £2.8m scheme comprises four houses, two live/work duplexes, and three apartments. The accommodation follows the site boundary to maximise the available shared amenity space.


The sculptural shapes of the dwellings are designed to maximise sunlight into the courtyard and reduce the effect of massing on neighbouring properties. Planting, water pools, and dappled light reflected from the pools onto the tile-clad facades, are intended to soften the angular nature of the buildings.

Site plan; ground and first-floor plans; sections

A 15-degree geometry is used throughout the development. In plan, this maintains the outlook for neighbouring properties. In section it maximises daylight and sunlight penetration, as well as meets the minimum pitch needed for roof tiles and rooflights. The front block is divided in two with a pedestrian route through to the dwellings located at the rear. This also allows morning sun to reach the back of the site.


The relationship between public and private space has been carefully considered throughout. Each house has its own courtyard, which opens onto a central shared garden. A reflecting pool separates the shared courtyard from large picture windows employed in the kitchen and dining spaces. The houses are staggered in plan, so that the relatively open dining areas are opposite the more private living spaces. Recessed timber-lined entrances provide additional seclusion and protection for residents.

Additional Images


Stolon Studio, Baca Architects
Structural engineer
Edge Structures
Services engineer
Prospero Projects
Quantity surveyor
Pulse Consulting

Wienerberger, Sandtoft
Architectural metalwork
Curtis Metal