Walmer Yard is the first residential scheme in Britain by Peter Salter, the internationally acclaimed teacher and architectural designer.
Shortlisted for RIBA London Awards 2017.
Seven years in the making, four finely crafted houses built around a shared courtyard in Notting Hill are now being shown to the architectural press.
The houses reflect Salter’s unique approach to the design of spaces for living. The structure, volumes and materials are employed to create a series of rooms and circulation spaces that are precisely tuned to domestic use, private peace and sensory experience.
The scheme offers an alternative ambition for contemporary domestic architecture: it uses a combination of new, old and non-standard materials selected for fitness for purpose rather than ease of construction, convenience or cost. The design and construction has as a result involved painstaking experimentation in materials and techniques, exacting craftsmanship and successful compliance with regulations for non-standard approaches.
Cast from in situ poured concrete, structured around rectangular and elliptical stairwells, each house fits within an interlocking plan around an acoustically adjusted timber-lined courtyard removed from the street. The floors are a single unrestricted span supported by the stairwells, creating flexibility and extending space and circulation as well as allowing the play of light deep into the rooms across smoothly moulded concrete ceilings.
Each of the interior rooms and the connections between them are designed to be experienced from within; the complex interplay of structural form and material textures, light and shadow, colour and sound are the result of decades of teaching by Salter and his team at the Architectural Association and other leading architectural institutions in Britain.
The houses were commissioned by developer Crispin Kelly to demonstrate the potential of Salter’s drawing, design and engineering skills. Having worked with Alison and Peter Smithson in the 1970s, Salter built his reputation as a teacher at the Architectural Association and since 2006, as Professor of Architectural Design at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. He has taught many of the leading architects practising in the world today.