Architecture Initiative wins planning approval for terraced homes in Wandsworth

London-based practice Architecture Initiative has been awarded planning permission for a 14-home residential scheme on the River Wandle in Earlsfield, Wandsworth, on behalf of Western Sunsets Comercio Internacional Limitada.

The development will replace an existing single-storey workshop and outbuildings with a new residential scheme comprising two distinct elements that are connected physically. One reinvents and extends the existing Victorian terraces of houses on the street, continuing the regular pattern of the bay forms. This element comprises four duplex and two lateral apartments and is clad in a sympathetic pale brick which sit comfortably in the prevailing streetscape. The second element, fronting the River Wandle, is designed to reflect the form and style of the industrial and commercial properties that historically inhabit the river’s edge. Clad in a darker brick, this component houses a further eight apartments over four levels, all with excellent views over the river and surrounding area.

The area is changing fast and features contemporary commercial development, light industrial buildings and large-scale warehouses. Permission has recently been granted by London Borough of Merton for a large-scale mixed-use development on the adjacent site. The proportions of the proposed scheme have been designed to take into account the character of the nearby buildings. For example, the metal-framed bay windows align with those of the existing houses on Ravensbury Terrace and the new roof heights align with the neighbouring eaves.

Project lead Rowan Parnell said:

“Our latest contemporary residential scheme provides an exciting and harmonious addition to Wandsworth. The design is a fresh twist on the traditional building forms which define the area’s character. The new development also provides a suitable transition between the two adjacent sites: the Victorian terrace streetscape and the riverside.”

The proposal includes a flood resistance strategy. A new riverside wall will be built at the south of the site to protect the new buildings in the event of flooding, as the existing structural defence is not of adequate height and may not remain structurally sound for the lifetime of the proposed development. The scheme also incorporates storage space for 16 bicycles, in-keeping with Wandsworth’s new Cycle Superhighway.