Tony Fretton Architects

Vassall Road Housing and Medical Centre

Tony Fretton Architects completed this hybrid development located on the corner of Holland Grove and Vassall Road in Lambeth, South London. The 1490m² building comprises of ten apartments and a medical centre, which occupies the entire ground floor. The new 3 and 4-storey development replaces a derelict pub, which originally served residents of the surrounding housing estate.

The building is designed to mitigate the disparity between the 1960’s brick social housing which has been retrofitted with plastic framed windows and pitched roofs and the dignified arrangement of eighteenth century suburban villas opposite.

Throughout the building high quality standardized items were specified, including Velfac and Velux windows, manufactured door handles by Ferdinand Kramer, kitchens from Leicht, Duravit bathroom fittings, Hudevad radiators, and Crosswater taps. Atkinson & Kirby Ltd supplied solid 140mm wide American White Oak flooring.

The common stairs feature bespoke Kengate terrazzo tiles incorporating seashells, mirror polished stainless steel cupboard doors in the entrance lobby.

Robust protection of steel

Tony-Fretton-WEBThe rear elevation is stepped back and the area of ground between the scheme and Healy House is laid out as a planted communal terrace.

While the doctors’ surgery has its own entrance on Vassall Road, the apartments are accessed through a private lobby on Holland Grove which leads up to an open air walkway at first floor level, providing “street” access to the maisonettes and creating space for private terraces and external storage space.

All of the apartments have two bedrooms and are scaled to appeal equally to small families, retired couples or single people working from home. Reception spaces in the maisonettes and flats are south facing and feature generous balconies facing south over the garden and into the trees, giving connections to the wider neighbourhood.

What are the galvanised components

The design of the building presents itself as a formal terrace within a galvanized railed garden consisting of the doctors’ surgery as a base, a row of seven maisonettes and three single-storey flats arranged in a tower configuration on the corner of the development. Windows and balconies at the first floor are a response at a smaller scale to the villas opposite.

Duplex coating: painted galvanized railings

Galvanized steel and the red brick facades have been painted to simulate the aged quality of the locale. The slender railings offer a dignified enclosure to the terrace and upper apartments.

Why galvanizing was used

The external steelwork was galvanized for the project in order to provide a robust protective coating. Galvanizing would not only provide long-term corrosion protection, but also be able to withstand the daily wear that the steelwork may be prone to especially at street level.

Vassall Road Housing and Medical Centre, London - Tony Fretton Architects

Images © Peter Cook

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