healycornelius design consultancy ltd
Hawley Mews is a development of three terraced houses on a very confined site in Camden, London. The successful delivery of the development demonstrated how the objectives of the Mayor's Draft London Plan 2017 can be met with the application of care and ingenuity. Formally a car park, the site was surplus to Camden Council's requirements and was acquired at public auction in 2013. The total site area measuring 280m² was heavily overlooked by neighbours, a mere 7m from both boundaries, which presented a difficult but exciting design challenge. The first technical challenge, rather unusually, was to build a full-sized model of a single bay of the property to demonstrate the actual massing relationship of the proposal to the adjacent buildings.
Each house is arranged around a private south facing courtyard, extending the open plan ground floor living space. Large glazed doors open onto the courtyard garden, increasing the sense of light and space with windows in all rooms. A large opening sky light above the stair allows daylight into the depth of the plan and natural stack ventilation in summer. The staircase becomes a gallery space, library and home office. Each house is carefully detailed and designed to maximise light, space and storage. The houses consist of two bedrooms on the first-floor level, one with an en suite. An accessible WC is located on the ground floor, designed to convert to a level access shower room.
Each house has a bio-diverse living green roof to provide diverse plant communities, increase energy efficiency, minimise rainwater runoff volumes and enhance the appearance for those overlooking. The bespoke folded metal screen, incorporating the pedestrian gated entrance, defines the threshold between the public domain and the private realm, designed to be tactile and to feel safe and secure as you move through it.
Hawley Mews is a neat and clever site design and layout. The scheme demonstrates the true flexibility of Architectural Technology with its innovative technical solution – a high quality solution for a constrained site, maximising natural light. The evidence of compliance with Planning requirements was managed in an innovative and transparent way and with a sensible approach. The fire engineered mist suppression solutions, to ensure safe results, overcome seemingly impossible site constraints.