1-6 Copper Lane

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Location: Stoke Newington, London


Project Year: 2014

Cost: £500k - £2m

Six homes, a mix of 1, 2, 3 & 4-beds, for seven adults and six children and shared facilities: 50m2 hall, laundry, workshop and shower room.

The design, in plan-form in particular, focuses on a typology that manifests the idea of ‘communality’. The resulting ‘cluster’ model places a court (orientated northeast-southwest) at the heart of the site beneath which the communal facilities are located and, around which the houses are laid out. 2-storey houses positioned east and west of the central court allow the morning and afternoon sunlight to enter this elevated outdoor ‘room’. The scheme allows for a continuous perimeter of communal gardens.

Compared to typical terraced houses where the public sphere ends at the front door, it is clear on entering 1-6 Copper Lane that, although defined, boundaries between public and private space have been extended beyond the norm.

This is London’s first co-housing scheme. The architecture supports an ‘intentional’ community and, with it’s shared facilities, heralds radical changes in the urban home. It shows how architecture can respond to a new social need that has arisen through changes in both lifestyles and economics, making home ownership more affordable as well as shaping more convivial and sustainable neighbourhoods.

Environmental performance: the building fabric - insulation, air tightness, and heat recovery - plays a vital role employing low-cost and proven technology. The only renewables are solar thermal panels. The embodied energy of construction has been considered in every respect: recycling waste material from the demolition; timber superstructure; timber cladding; timber fenestration and partial green roofs

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The courtyard is the most demonstrative manifestation of this intentional community

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Central court, looking north east

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Common hall beneath the central court

Post Image Central court, looking south west Post Image House Five seen from central court Post Image Entrance hall, House One Post Image Stair, House One Post Image Living room, House Six Post Image Lower ground floor fenestration, House One Stair, House