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Woodgrange Mews, 

Forest Gate, East London, UK, 2014

Noble House Properties

This scheme is for the development of a backlands area behind Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate and is intergrated with the wider masterplan for the area. Eight mews houses are proposed, the  layout of which aims to build on the historic urban street pattern, with mews houses to the rear of the Victorian high street.

The typology of this set of dwellings is a closed quadrangle with an open courtyard, informed by historic Pawnbrokers Almshouses which existed until around 1900. Historically such arrangements offered a safe and secure communal environment where residents would informally meet. The central courtyard provides a welcoming, secure, semi-private space with outdoor amenity in front of dwellings, while rear gardens offer fully private space. Simple changes to surface treatment define ownership. By clustering semi-private spaces in this arrangement, the scheme aims to promote a sense of community, providing a safe and secure environment for informal gatherings and play.

The external appearance is dominated by pale brick detailing, with simple clean and slim profiled window frames. This elegant but robust skin draws its reference from the nearby Victorian buildings but employs a wholly contemporary idiom. The arrangement of the elevation and its proportions is informed by traditional mews buildings with thin brick piers to the ground floor elevations with larger openings above.

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