The ‘tenure-blind’ development includes 116 private and 28 affordable homes, M&S Simply Food store and basement parking. Rising from five to eight storeys, this gateway marker for South Kilburn from Queens Park makes a positive contribution to the streetscape by creating a strong sense of place. The three buildings sit around new landscaped courtyards, and shelter residents from the West Coast Mainline train route and a busy arterial traffic route.
The design maximises the site’s southern aspect and limits the impact of the northern boundary. The scheme includes a predominantly ‘solid’ masonry perimeter adjacent to the railway line and the number of apartments facing north was reduced by decreasing the height of the buildings along the northern edge. The layout ensures that no living spaces have a purely north-facing outlook. The apartment buildings open up around two south-facing courtyards, with all apartments benefitting from a large balcony and/or roof terrace. The greater transparency of the south, east and west elevations increases the connection between internal living spaces and external areas.
The brick resonates with the surrounding Victorian and post-war housing. Brick piers are interspersed with solid recessed panels and modest windows with reflective metal panels on the window reveals to catch evening sun from the west. The brick contrasts with standing seam zinc cladding on the courtyards and penthouses. Courtyard balconies are lined with cedar boarding to the rear, adding warmth to the courtyards. For added privacy or solar shading, residents can adjust sliding, full-height, perforated metal panels across the balconies which also animates the composition of the elevations.