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Carlisle Lane Lofts

Carlisle Lane Lofts

Private Award Highly Commended 2005

Location: London
Client/Owner: Pringle & Richards
Architect: Pringle Richards Sharratt
Structural Engineer: Alan Baxter & Associates
Main Contractor/Builder: Eurban
Joinery: Finnforest Mark
Wood Species: German Spruce

Loft living rarely implies new-build or affordable housing but here, next to a railway viaduct on London’s South Bank, four smart one-bedroom ‘lofts’ have been economically built using sustainable wooden construction.

Designed by the architects for their two university-age children, the project also provides space to sell or let. The judges describe it as ‘an interesting, well executed project that will provide very comfortable first homes’

A two storey free-standing timber frame clad in lightweight structural timber panels slots between three existing walls. The void is filled with insulation, making use of the neighbouring fire-resistant party walls. The building takes up just over half the site, allowing for  a narrow wooden-decked courtyard punctuated by a galvanised steel spiral stairway. The courtyard facade uses heat-treated spruce timber boarding which improves both rot and water resistance, while solid timber structural panels were chosen for their acoustic properties.

Prefabrication was key to the design, both to save time and because site access was restricted. The frame was built in just over two weeks and he timber structure is so lightweight that piling was not necessary.