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Reed Watts

Reed Watts Architects, London

Harbard Close, Barking

Located close to the centre of Barking, this scheme provides 78 new  homes for local, first-time buyers. Arranged in two blocks, the scheme addresses a busy road to the west and a quiet residential neighbourhood to the east.  As part of our design, we introduced a new public, pedestrian route linking the two and giving access to a pair of secluded courtyard gardens for residents.

The structure of each of the new blocks has been pre-fabricated off-site to reduce disruption for neighbours.  Warm brick colours tie in with those on other buildings in the area, including the Victorian waterworks opposite the site. At the ground floor, the brick base extends from the building to form garden walls and benches. A cast glass façade wraps around circulation spaces to contrast with the texture of the bricks and to allow light into and out of the staircases.

Walled gardens form the heart of the scheme and are influenced by the work of landscape architects such as Gertrude Jekyll. They include allotment space as well as outdoor table tennis and social spaces. The scheme also includes a shared home-working space for all residents to use.

About Pocket

Pocket Living produces high-quality, one-bedroom affordable apartments, responding to growing numbers of Londoners who are priced out of the private housing market. They meet the Mayor of London’s Design Standards and are sold at a minimum 20% reduction from the market rate, to eligible local buyers. Pocket has been awarded £26.4m GLA funding over 10 years to enable delivery of new homes for Londoners to own.

Currently Pocket Living delivers around a quarter of its schemes using modular techniques and they are hoping to increase this over the coming years as capacity increases in the sector.

Photos: Fred Howarth
Model Photos: Ben Tynegate