Established by the Mayor of London and Brent Council, the Wembley Housing Zone initiative seeks to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing and civic infrastructure in Wembley Town Centre. As part of this programme, we were commissioned to unlock an underused and complex piece of land fronting the local high street to deliver mixed‑tenure homes, workspaces, community areas and wider public realm improvements.
The site has a number of significant constraints including a 7m level change from north‑to‑south and a diverse set of edge conditions, including; the high street to the north, low‑rise terraced housing to the east and a secondary school to the south. In our response to this context, the design takes influence from traditional mansion and courtyard blocks typologies. Rather than building tall, the project achieves density through efficient spatial planning to maximise daylight into homes, dual‑aspect proportions and quality of the living spaces inside.
Characteristic of traditional mansion blocks which are often deep in plan, residential cores are accessed through a rich sequence of public and shared spaces rather than directly from the street. This layout frees up space along the ground floor edge along the high road for flexible commercial work and community uses, space that extends through a series of stepped basement levels beneath the project. Above the high road the project’s main 8‑and 9‑storey buildings provide a strong frontage and contain the majority of accommodation through a wide mix of mansion flat dwellings, which are each organised in a sequence of T‑shaped modules. From the north, the scheme steps down with the topography of the site to lower building heights of 5‑6 storeys and a shift to family dwelling typologies reflecting the scale of the adjacent school and nearby housing.
At the heart of the project, a canopy of trees lines the meandering public route from the main entrance into the central courtyard garden which is landscaped with an array of planting, seating and different environments for respite and play.