37_Brandon Street Social Housing | Metaphorm Architects

2015 Edition, United Kingdom


Project title: Brandon Street Social Housing

Recommending party
The project has been submitted by: 
Joseph Watters, Metaphorm Architects



United Kingdom

City: London

Address: 60 Brandon Street London SE17 1AJ



Designer or design team architects: Metaphorm Architects


Plot Area: 486 sq.m.

Gross Area: 1.769 sq.m.

Of which residential:  82%
Public/communal areas:  18%
Facilities for the public: 0%
Business/trade: 0%
Offices: 0%

Number of residential units: 18
Typology of users: families
Total building costs Euros:  2.942.000,00 €
Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area: 1.663,00 €/ sq.m.
Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area: 3,64
Work started on date: Thursday, 1st April 2010
Work completion date: Wednesday, 1st February 2012


Promoter: Southwark Council, London / London & Quadrant Housing Association
Allotment rule: Households nominated by municipal government
Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value:
– assignment:   not indicated
– rent:  63%

Description of the project: 

Context, Programme & Approach
Won through an architectural competition, the Elephant & Castle Regeneration housing project on Brandon Street in central London is part of Southwark municipal government’s plan to establish architectural quality benchmarks. The brief was to remove visual and design differentiations between social and market housing, and to use the process to evolve a new generation of residential architecture for London.

Defining the end of an urban block, Metaphorm Architects’ design mitigates between the unchanging tranquil residential setting of 19th century terrace housing and the imminent revision of Brandon Street, prompted by the regeneration of the surrounding district.

The main façade announces the transformation of Brandon Street into a principal axis, and creates an element of delectation. Meandering past four existing trees, its curves define the character of both, external public and internal private spaces. The integrated pre-cast concrete benches are an invitation to stay, extended in particular to the children of the pre-school adjoining and to the elderly of the almshouse opposite.

Environmental Sustainability
The scheme achieves BREEAM Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. In addition to numerous multifaceted sustainability features, the building envelope comprises off-site prefabricated walls of inner leaf light gauge steel panels with integral insulation, unprecedented in this building form. This results in a compact wall construction of high thermal performance.

Economic Sustainability
The project was delivered at a very low budget by London standards, albeit at high density on a constrained urban site. This was achieved through a clear definition and implementation of spending priorities, efficient plan layouts, simple but qualitatively high details and material specifications, and through adopting efficient modern building systems.

Social Sustainability
A range of unit types are provided among the 18 social rent homes to create an environment of demographic diversity and neighbourliness. Aiming to be inclusive for all, both in terms of external street access and apartment configurations, the design follows Liftetime Homes and barrier-free wheelchair living standards exceeding those in building codes. Serving the wider neighbourhood, the bench seats create an inviting public social space for residents and locals to enjoy.