Just off the River Thames in West London, UK, Barnes High Street is a typical street where shops, amenities and small businesses have lined up throughout the years. With only their small fronts facing the street, many of the businesses and workshops spread into the deep backside within the building block. On the site of a former car body repair workshop, Project Orange created a combined living and working environment – covered with grey clay bricks.

Project details

Project name Foundry Mews, London, United Kingdom
Architect Project Orange
Products used Terca Eastfield Grey, Penter Hague Cream DF
Year of completion  2016

brown brick facade private property front view house Foundry Mews

Foundry Mews, United Kingdom © Jack Hobhouse

white brick facade textured detail view Foundry Mews United Kingdom

Foundry Mews, United Kingdom © Jack Hobhouse

interior white brick walls glass man walking outside Foundry Mews

Foundry Mews, United Kingdom © Jack Hobhouse

modern interior white walls table living room Foundry Mews

Foundry Mews, United Kingdom © Jack Hobhouse

Foundry Mews makes sustainable use of a previously light industrial brownfield site, decontaminating the land and allowing an abandoned urban site a new lease of life. Project Orange Architects

Finding space between existing buildings

Through a passage from the street one enters the winding mew with eight ateliers and workshop spaces along it. Two open stairs give direct access to the six maisonettes that are situated above. Although there is a clear horizontal division between the workshop and the maisonettes on top, the ensemble reads as a row of small houses with pitched roofs that reflects the scale of the space and the surrounding buildings. The mew is closed in the back by slightly bigger houses accommodating two offices or studio spaces and an apartment on top.

Clay bricks and paving

Building on the plot was difficult, since all materials had to be transported by hand from the street through the small passage. The façades of the houses are constructed in a soft gray brick. The brick façades adapt to the surroundings and make a clear reference to the industrial past of the site. The flooring of the mew and the stairs are covered in a clay paver that fits very well to the bricks. Together
with the cladding of the lower part of the division wall along the mew, the light colors create both a uniformity and intimacy determining the character of the ensemble.

Detailed brickwork

“The client’s long-term vision has facilitated a sustainable community that is robust and resilient.”
The brickwork façades are finished with flush mortar joints and the window openings are carefully detailed into the brickwork. On the upper floor the private terraces of the houses are screened
off with a perforated brick wall and the façades are finished with a band of projecting bricks, adding texture to them and balancing the composition of the whole ensemble.
 
The programmatic mix and density of the scheme is well resolved through the careful organization of private outdoor spaces of the houses and the harmonic organization of the mews and the stairs. The use of a single material provides unity and scale to the ensemble that showcases a desirable way of living and working in our contemporary cities.

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