Vaudeville Court / Levitt Bernstein

Vaudeville Court / Levitt Bernstein

  • Project - Vaudeville Court, Levitt Bernstein
  • Project - Vaudeville Court, Levitt Bernstein

Location

Vaudeville Court is a high density, sustainable, social housing project in Finsbury Park in the London Borough of Islington.

Description

The three storey building provides thirteen affordable dwellings – a mix of two, three and four bedroom family maisonettes and apartments – and infills an existing garage site. The scheme is based around the concept of ‘productive landscapes’ where every single surface – public or private, indoor or outdoor – is designed to be useful. This philosophy builds on Islington’s history as an area famous for agriculture, dairy herds and produce as well as the site’s location along a historic trading route. The intention is for this typology to be applicable to other neglected garage sites throughout the borough.

Spaces

Ground floor duplexes all share the same organisational layout. Kitchens are situated to overlook the street, with dining space in the middle section. The living area is to the rear, offering views into the facing courtyard and the bedrooms are located on the first floor, with their own private balcony.

The living areas open up fully to the courtyard space, clad in white brick to maximise reflected light and allow outdoor and indoor spaces to become one. Storage and service spaces are invisibly integrated within thick walls, keeping the living spaces as open, transparent and flexible as possible.

This storage continues into the private courtyard beyond with integrated external seating, and a linear planter terminates in a garden room enclosed by a trellis and sliding, dark stained timber screens. This structure provides valuable storage for each household and privacy between the courtyard gardens.

Elevations

The northern elevation has been designed primarily with the privacy of residents in mind. A tower is located in close proximity directly to the north of the site and so overlooking has been minimised with splayed window reveals throughout. The fenestration within this elevation has narrow recessed windows with oblique views directed onto the street and away from the apartments. Smaller, flush windows feature opaque glass.

In order for the splays to be deep, the flank wall has a 260mm wide cavity. To keep the weight down to minimum, a brick slip system (Fastcald) was used to fix the slips onto prefabricated timber panels. Pressed aluminium panels then terminate the cavity at the top and bottom.

Landscape

Latticed brick panels are staggered across a textured brickwork exterior at upper levels to screen the private gardens, at ground floor, from the communal walkways above and also to create an opportunity for planting and hanging herbs and shrubs.

The treatment of each surface forms an important part of the overall landscape and environmental strategy, ranging from high quality amenity spaces, areas for renewable energy (PVs), reducing storm water runoff through green roofs and water butts, improving biological habitat and produce gardens.

The front gardens are designed to be a continuation of those of the terraced houses to the south. A specimen fruit tree in each garden provides a strong visual element along the street, with underplanting of herbs and other edible species to create a true urban kitchen garden.

Interiors

Drawings

Extra info

Client:
London Borough of Islington

Value:
£2.7 million

Architect:
Levitt Bernstein

Contractor:
Rooff

Structural Engineer:
Campbell Reith

Services Engineer:
Aecom

Planning consultant:
HTA Design LLP

Landscape Architect:
Levitt Bernstein