Camden Courtyards, NW1 London, UK
Camden Courtyards is a fully residential scheme on a prominent site in Camden Town. Sheppard Robson was appointed by Barratt in 2013 with a brief for a split of 50% private and 50% affordable. This led to a concept of a double courtyard scheme with the building in the form of an S shape. The dimensions of the site lend themselves to narrow blocks which allows for dual-aspect apartments. The site is bounded on two sides by busy roads, so providing an aspect into a calm quiet courtyard ensures better quality outlook for the residential apartments.
The building provides 164 residential units and is seven storeys at its highest. There is a five-storey parapet with one or two storeys set back; to the rear, the parapet steps down to four storeys.
The elevations are conceived like a mansion block, with a base, middle and top and a vertical rhythm punctuated by recessed balconies.
Façades are predominantly brick, with metal infill panels and window frames. The upper levels are clad with Cor-Ten, which have a rich patina and reflect the industrial heritage of the site and its context.
This is a zero-parking scheme, due to the proximity to public transport, and there is generous cycle provision. Amenity space is provided in the form of two communal rooftop terraces.
The project achieved planning in March 2014 and reached completion in 2017.
- Barratt London
- 15,000 m2
- RIBA - Shortlisted
- New London Architecture Awards - Shortlisted
- Housing Design Awards - Winner
- London Planning Awards - Winner
- Housing Design Awards - Shortlisted
The building is set out to address the surrounding streets, whilst preserving the existing trees.
Thin 14m floors allow for bedrooms to face into a tranquil heart, the requirement for a discreet separation between 50/50 private to affordable led to the S-shaped plan, with a double courtyard arrangement, one for each tenure.
Additional play space is provided at 5th floor in the form of communal roof terraces.
The height and massing of the buildings were massaged through the consultation process to respect townscape, and daylight impacts to surrounding properties.
The materials were chosen to reflect the urban and industrial heritage of Camden, brickwork to the first five storeys and weathering steel to the upper two floors.
The success both commercially and critically is attributed to the attention to detail throughout all aspects of design.
Crucial details were worked through at early design stages, whether it be apartment joinery, landscape lighting or the building envelope. All elements were tested through detailed 3D modelling as well as a series of facade and apartment mock-ups, the design team was then significantly engaged with the sourcing and manufacturing of all elements to ensure design concepts were realised.