Barrett's Grove by Amin Taha + Groupwork is a slender, cross-laminated timber housing structure built along a Victorian Street in London. Evidently, the architects paid particular attention to material choice and meticulous detailing, resulting in a distinct structure that also cohesively blends in with its neighboring buildings. In recent months, the project was shortlisted in the RIBA 2017 London Awards and also won in the RIBA National Awards. From there, it'll compete for the coveted 2017 Stirling Prize.
The six-story building has large bronzed windows and wicker woven-steel balconies that appear to pop up from its street-facing facade, which is enveloped in perforated brickwork.
“The tall red brick gable facing the street is formed by a 1-bedroom apartment with a second smaller block at the rear to create the second 2-bedroom plan,” the architects describe. “The double stacked and open bond of brickwork states the envelope is not loadbearing (of the superstructure), but a screen enveloping the whole building and the roof.”
“The project required a comprehensive understanding of the [structural properties of the different building materials], as well as careful detailing because many of the structural loadbearing elements are exposed,” the architects explain. Inside, the cross-laminated timber serves as the superstructure of the walls, floors, and roof, and the construction joints were left exposed.
The architects built the housing block with CLT as a more sustainable option, therefore eliminating the need for things like plasterboarded walls, suspended ceilings, tiling, paint, and skirtings, while also creating a warmer interior atmosphere throughout the home. Other interior details include window seats, timber cabinetry and full-height doors with either leather handles or metal locks.
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