New London Architecture

The Forge


A new public street, communal courtyard gardens, blue and green roofs are key highlights of this 192-home scheme, which includes a unique terrace of townhouses and a 14-storey tower.
Resilient London: confronting climate change

Resilient London: confronting climate change

A new tree-lined public street, a collection of communal gardens and a series of blue and green roofs are the key highlights of this scheme which has delivered 192 new homes, including a terrace of unique townhouses and a 14-storey tower. The project incorporates 35 per cent affordable homes, with the remainder of the site let as a Private Rental Scheme supported by communal facilities such as a residents’ lounge, gym and generous garden spaces. 
A limited material palette, of predominately buff and white brickwork, is offset by playful accents of yellow metalwork and feature brickwork detailing.

The massing of the buildings on the site has been carefully considered so that this is concentrated in a north south linear spine block, roughly down the middle of site, to minimise shading of the new public street and the communal garden spaces on either side.  East-west orientated finger blocks are positioned perpendicular to this spine and set down toward the western boundary. These blocks provide shelter and enclosure of the courtyard gardens. These blocks are orientated with apartments on the southern side, overlooking the garden spaces, or Priory Park to the south, and with communal circulation on the northern side.

Good passive design principles extend to the design of the townhouses. Like the main apartment blocks on the opposite side of the new street, this terrace is orientated north-south against the existing eastern site boundary, minimising its shading impact. Each house is orientated looking directly south, with the main living room and terrace raised to first floor level above a private parking garage. The massing of the second storey of each house is set back at the rear and onto the eastern boundary to the side, in order to further limit the shading and impact on the house behind, or adjacent existing neighbouring gardens.

The scheme is located within a critical drainage area which resulted in a particularly onerous planning restriction on the maximum surface water discharge rate from the scheme of 3.5 litres a second. This is 60 per cent of the equivalent greenfield runoff rate, on a contaminated urban site that previously comprised 87 per cent hard-standing or non-attenuated roofs. An innovative blue roof system has been combined with green roofs, ground level soft landscaping and below ground attenuation tanks and a ‘hydrobrake’ to achieve this restriction. These green roofs also encourage ecological diversity, reduce urban heat gains and provide amenity for residents.

Blue and green roofs, below ground attenuation tanks and ground level soft landscaping combine to massively reduce the surface water discharge rate from the site to 60 per cent of the equivalent green field discharge rate. This is a significant achievement on a tight urban contaminated site.


Project information






9600 sq m


August 2019


31 Priory Rd, North Maida Vale, London NW6 4NN, UK

Team Credits


Telford Homes

M&E / Sustainability Engineer

Mendick Waring

Structural Engineer

Powell Tolner & Associates

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