Forest Houses

Four new homes have been configured around a series of lightwells and gardens at this former builder’s yard. Enclosed by brick gardens walls at ground level, our design positions all the living spaces at first floor, giving all the houses expansive views over the Wanstead Flats.

View from Wanstead Flats
View towards Wanstead Flats
View from ground floor bedroom

The project comprises three new-build residential units; two three-bedroom family houses, and a smaller two-bedroom house, all of which enjoy communal landscaped areas and private garden terraces. The plans also include the remodelling and extension of the former shop that straddles the entrance to the site.

The spatial arrangement of the new accommodation responds to its proximity to neighbouring properties.  The new units are positioned in the furthermost corner of the site while, at the same time, ensuring the maximum benefit by angling the terraces to create oblique views across the site directly to the Flats, while avoiding any potential overlooking.

Proposal in context
Ground floor sleeping spaces
Roof studies

Our fundamental design move was to position the kitchen and living spaces on the first floor, to derive maximum benefit of the views to the Flats from the spaces which are the most highly used and enjoyed by all members of the family. Bedrooms are located on the ground floor, with private terraces and lightwells drawing sunlight deep within the plan.

Previous structure on site
Boundary walls rebuilt in brick
Remodelling and extension of existing terrace
Unit 1 - ground floor sleeping spaces
Unit 2 - ground floor sleeping spaces
Unit 3 - ground floor sleeping spaces
Open plan living spaces above
Carving courtyards away
Tilting the roof planes
Profiled cladding to first floor walls and roofs
Roof meadow to first floor
Final design

“Something special was needed here. A site that had been in our family for such a long time meant we needed not just, flair, vision and great design, we needed a celebration. Dallas–Pierce–Quintero gave us all of that and more, and in doing so came up with a design and scheme that just flowed into its surroundings.”

Existing builder's yard
View from the builder's store roof

Brick and profiled metal sheet form the primary external materials and the light-coloured brickwork add texture and softness to the domestic approach, while the metal-clad, sawtooth roof of the first floor volumes reference the historic light-industrial use of the site. Internally, structural elements are left undressed, with exposed blockwork on the ground floor and timber beams to the first floor roof.

Material palette

We have been commissioned to take this project from conception to completion and have worked closely with the client over recent months to develop the current proposal to its fullest potential. The project is currently under construction and is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2020.


London 2016
Private client

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