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Adventurous block of apartments with ground-floor shops and a lovely town-centre roof garden


Sternhold Avenue SW2

Local Authority

Lambeth Council

Plot Type

Conservation Area

Project Type

New Build Flats


Construction of eight flats and two retail units

Services by Urbanist Architecture

Project Architect, Planning Consultant, Lead Consultant


Crown Trees, Syntegra Consulting, Andrew Golland Associates, T16 Design, TTHC


Our clients had an unprepossessing corner plot in Streatham, with no clear use in an otherwise densely-populated neighbourhood. They wanted to use the land to create value within the neighbourhood by transforming their plot into housing and commercial units. Our initial designs, however, were constrained by the plot and by Lambeth’s generous outdoor space policy and stringent streetscape guidelines.

It was complex to provide the number of flats wanted by the developers and to find enough outdoor space for each apartment to respect the guidelines for apartment sizes, aspect and setbacks at the same time. In addition, Lambeth set ambitious targets to ensure our new build flats met their zero carbon targets especially when it comes to building new build flats as infill development on vacant and underused plots in London.



Our design concept focused on the future redevelopment of the immediate area as well as ensuring that the streetscape in terms of commercial space and housing mix was maintained. With this in mind, we designed two four-storey buildings with different housing arrangements and sought design guidance in a pre-application advice meeting with Lambeth council to save time and effort further down the line.

With their requirements, guidance and targets clearly defined, we were able to design an apartment block that provided employment and sustainable income in the form of commercial units on the ground floor, and a selection of differently-sized apartments on the three upper floors.

The flats were larger than the guidelines specified, but we needed to meet Lambeth’s provision for the flats to be dual-aspect while also leaving the eastern wall blank for future development on that side. We had to sacrifice outdoor space within the apartments but by negotiating with the council, we were able to shift this space to the roof, meaning that residents enjoyed not only brand-new spacious dual-aspect apartments, but also a private roof garden in the middle of Streatham!

The vision of our clients transformed into a reality with the creation of a medium-sized corner building to create housing, with commercial units underneath to match the surrounding area.

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