25_S333 Architecture + Urbanism | Block 3, Tarling Estate Regeneration

United Kingdom


Project title: Block 3, Tarling Estate Regeneration

Recommending party
The project has been submitted by:

S333 Architecture + Urbanism



City: London 


James Voller Way, Shadwell, London, E1 2PJ


Designer or design team architects:

S333 Architecture + Urbanism


Plot Area: 1815 m2

Gross Area: 4635m2

Of which residential: 97%
Public/communal areas: -%
Facilities for the public: -%
Business/trade: 3%
Offices: -%

Number of residential units: 32
Typology of users: families
Total building costs Euros: 7.1 M€
Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area: 1338 €/mq
Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area: 2554 mq
Work started on date: 03/2005
Work completion date: 06/2008


Promoter: One Housing Group
Owner: One Housing Group
Allotment rule:

Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value:
– assignement: – %
– rent: – %

Description of the project: 


This eye-catching residential scheme brings affordable large family homes back to our inner cities. It combines the familiar terraced house with clever spatial design, to provide a new concept of family urban living in a tough inner city environment; all within a standard social-housing construction budget.



The Tarling Regeneration Project is a 221-unit (75% affordable) development of mixed-tenure housing and commercial elements by One Housing Group. This was an ambitious programme for a 0.72 hectare site previously lacking vibrancy and quality. The masterplan, completed in partnership with Stock Woolstencroft, has transformed a post-war housing estate into an active street-based urban fabric with four distinct urban blocks. It takes advantage of the busy, vibrant pedestrian activity from Commercial Road and Watney Market, linking through the scheme to Shadwell’s DLR and Underground stations. S333 completed Block 3, which consists of 22 apartments, 10 large houses and two retail units. It is at the eastern edge of the development, occupying a 0.19 ha tapered site that is bounded by the remaining estate and by the DLR railway viaduct. The site was originally occupied by typical post-war buildings separated from the street edge by a sea of asphalt.


Evolution of the British Terraced House

The challenge on this small, difficult site was to deliver large, single-family homes on a new residential street, in a secure and protected environment that did not turn its back on the public realm. Our response was to pull all the traditional forms of amenity – public space, car parking, and private gardens – into a single building envelope that fills the entire site. We exploited the wedge shape of the site to help us deliver the different-sized homes that were required, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to 10-person six-bedroom houses.

Our approach combines the terraced house with the patio house. Privacy comes from a range of screened breakout spaces (patios, roof gardens, terraces, and balconies) and through additional planting (a tree-lined street and trees in the patio gardens). Covered porches provide personalised entry thresholds. The living space can be opened up to create a large indoor/outdoor room in the summertime. An integrated carport buffers the street, and large balconies afford passive surveillance of the street. The entire roof is a generous and secure play area.   The different types of outdoor space create the potential to divide houses into apartments or to separate the ground floors from the upper floors.


Character & Aesthetics

Block 3 was conceived as an urban building rather than as a collection of houses. This was necessary in order to form the strong well-defined street edges that had been missing for so long. Visually, the building needed to be part of the post-war East End but also to announce its regeneration. We achieved this by referring to the horizontality of the existing estate in a contemporary way, and with a clearer definition of private and public space.  The horizontality gives the restricted site long panoramic views at the corners. Despite the internalising of leisure space, the homes police the street from generous cantilevered balconies. Bands of lightweight polyester concrete in a rich chocolate colour give a luxurious feel to the building and refer to the pre-cast concrete typical of post-war housing. We designed a mould based on a microscopic image of leather, referring to the tanneries that were once in the area. This cladding alternates with bands of yellow panels, which become lighter-coloured towards the ground as the building nestles into the more densely packed street.


Construction costs:

£1,338 GBP/m2 Calculated 2008


Sustainabilty and Construction Data

Detailed description of the sustainability criteria applied:


Ecohomes “Very Good” Rating

Delivering a true ‘piece of the city’ generates the necessary density that will help maintain social and economic sustainability. There are no obvious green gimmicks such as micro-turbines or photovoltaics; instead, adhering to S333’s Dutch roots, we have considered a wider sustainable agenda. Energy and heating are provided by site-wide CHP; elements including the façade panels are prefabricated, reducing the embodied energy and ensuring better quality and lifespan; materials were often sourced locally. Concrete floors and light steel frame walls provide flexibility. Generous glazing maximises natural light. Sedum gardens retain water, and green walls reduce urban heat. The robust and flexible design, which can be easily adapted, should ensure that the building has a long life.


Typical wall build-up –

Pre-cast polyester concrete cladding on angle support system

Tyvek breather membrane

45mm Celotex insulation

120mm reinforced concrete upstand

2 x 12.5mm plasterboard lining on 15mm battens


Typical roof build-up –

25mm non-slip softwood deck boards on 50x50mm treated softwood battens

Kemper DPM

120mm rigid insulation with fall

250 reinforced concrete slab

15mm plasterboard ceiling on M/F type suspended system