Exhibition Mews

In 2012 Ash Sakula won an open design competition to construct a terrace of exemplary carbon neutral affordable homes which contained cues for sustainable living and could be replicated on other sites.

Ash Sakula won over the jury and local residents with a convincing narrative of how every corner of their home could have a different character and support the adventures of daily life. Everyone was excited by a proposal that brings the construction industry closer to turning out homes that are inherently sustainable via a fabric first principle, with extra thick walls creating a cosy interior that is inexpensive to heat. The house uses an unheated conservatory entrance as a rougher space for family projects and an unusually expansive place to greet guests.

Low-impact  living is built in. Intelligent provision has been made for cycling, drying  clothes naturally and recycling and south-facing roofs are fitted with  photovoltaic panels, while smart meters and energy display units give residents the tools they need to live economically and sustainably.

Ash Sakula went on to develop a range of different configurations for the eco-terrace typology, including three- and four-bedroom variants.

2016 RIBA Award for Architecture. Jury Chair's comment: "A place of joy".

2016 RIBA Stephen Lawrence Award Shortlist

2015 What House? Award

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula three houses concept sketch

Inside and outside are thoughtfully connected. Homes are entered through a single-glazed, uninsulated, indoor-outdoor room - a meet-and-greet threshold space that serves as a boot room, greenhouse, playspace and all-round stress-reducing extra space. An additional external store comfortably houses bicycles and tools.

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula three houses front view

Each house is a compact cube with a roof tipped up to the sun, capturing energy from the sun to dry clothes, heat water, and generate electricity. Front garden spaces opening out from the kitchens become courtyards where residents design their fences to suit their preferred relationship to the neighbourhood; framing a single view, or quite private, or building playful shelves for decoration and exchanging plants. Scooters and bikes have their own front door to a separate shed.

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula three houses back view with historic brick buildings

The eco-homes sit comfortably alongside historic brick dwellings to the rear of an old military fire station, now an exhibition centre for low energy housing. The new homes and stained timber fencing enliven a forgotten yard.

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula three houses back view with historic brick buildings‍

The homes are unusually wide, allowing for a central staircase and the chance to create a playful circular route. there are corners for diverse activities including study, home businesses, watching films, cooking, eating, and making new stuff happen.

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula three houses back gardens and PV photovoltaic panels on pitched roofs sustainable homes

Roof-mounted photovoltaic panels on sweet chestnut shake roofs, large windows and sunken patios. The garden behind the houses is shared, but each house has its own  patio - a subtle and innovative treatment of the boundary between personal and communal space.

Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos

Client: The Radian Group

Schedule: Three 2-bedroom terraced houses for social rent

Value: £600,000

Gross Internal Area: 94 m2 per home

Completed: April 2015

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula three houses communal recycling and refuse space

A tall, skinny building, a smaller variant of the terraced houses, is a communal recycling and refuse space. It also provides an attic-home for bats, and eaves for house martins to nest in.

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula three houses locally sourced chestnut roof local materials

Locally-sourced sweet chestnut shakes cover roofs and run down the north gable wall.

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula three houses locally source chestnut roof detail view

Sweet chestnut shakes and thin coat render cladding over thick wood-fibre insulation.

Exhibition Mews Ash Sakula old fireman's tower hosts new PV solar panels

Rooftop photovoltaic panels are supplemented by additional panels on the old fireman's tower.

The design is closely attuned to the rhythms and rigours of family life, using traditional features in new ways. Here the upstairs landing doubles as a laundry.

The houses are well adapted for inclusive living and meet all aspects of the detailed Lifetime Homes criteria.