Geoffrey Road housebuilding begins

The Architects' Journal reports that work to build new apartment blocks on Geoffrey Road has begun. The site has been dormant for years, but the homes are now due for completion by January 2013. AJ says:

The 625m², competition-winning scheme features five single-storey, pavilion-like apartments sat behind a pair of four-storey, timber framed apartment blocks. According to [architecture practice] Groves Natcheva's co-founder Murray Groves all the units have their own private amenity space with the ‘the pedestrian street bringing a more communal feel - the idea of the mews.’

We really like the look of these, which are better architecture than Brockley has been used to in recent years and it's nice to see derelict sites being filled in with new homes at long last.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice!

Tom said...

Bold and dense - like them.

Brockley Nick said...

Check out the link to the architects in the article to see the mews buildings too.

Anonymous said...

bold dense and little amenity space... poor

Goya said...

very smart!

Anonymous said...

Very nice indeed ... love the mews.. about time Brockley got some better design ... let's hope it sets the bar.

Matt-Z said...

Do the Ford Cortina and Rover SD1 come with as standard?

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a Vauxhall Cavalier hatcback

Anonymous said...

Have to say I don't like these (and am a bit suprised to see I'm in the minority). Can't help feeling these will look very dated, very quickly. Hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Im also surprised at the lack of criticism given the usual knee jerk reaction to anything that isn't a bog standard victorian terrace.

Brockley Jon said...

Who needs gardens, eh?

kolp said...

No comment

TM said...

I like this idea and I would have preferred something like this on the W P Stone site on Tyrwhitt Road rather than the "mock" Victorian Building going up now.

The trouble is modern workman can't do Victorian brickwork like the Victorians did and the range of bricks in colour and texture that were available to the Victorians are no longer with us and it shows.

Anonymous said...

I suppose Broc Soc,'the voice of the people', opposed the design, as it opposes anything that's not a pastiche?

Anonymous said...

Who needs gardens, eh?


especially when you've got grass on the roof of the 'amenity' for the satellite pics.

max said...

And no coal hatch either.

headhunter said...

Hopefully they'll maintain the woodwork... Out could look pretty scruffy after a few years if it's not kept varnished etc

pip said...

I like them, but I like them a bit less on reading the article and realising that those in the picture are apartment blocks rather than houses. As houses they would have a bit of a Grand Designs feel to them. If it's one floor per apartment they'll be more like rabbit hutches!

Moi said...

@TM, yes I was looking at the Wc Stone building yesterday. In some ways I don't mind it because it will blend in OK; in other ways its mock Victorian-ness made me laugh. I can't believe they've actually gone for the 'bricked-up windows' look.

Anonymous said...

Horrible, the schlock of the new.

Robert said...

I don't know why anyone would have the impression that BrocSoc are only interested in Victorian pastiche.
I can't speak for others involved with the society - but I would always rather see a good quality contemporary design over pastiche. However - good quality design is often hard to achieve, so mimicry can sometimes be the safer option.

Tamsin said...

And copying, mimicry, reflection - whatever you want to call it (even pastiche) - can be done very well. There are current examples in Pepys Road and Arbuthnot. (As well as Vanburgh reflecting Wren in Greenwich...)

MalB said...

My vote is for "absolutely horrible": blocky and flat. They are not a patch on the Victorian properties adjacent. Builders can do Victorian brickwork and ornamentation - as Tamsin says, look at the new builds at the bottom of Pepys Road and the corner of Arbuthnot Road near Jerningham Road.

It is not that the builders can't, but that the architects won't or the developers would prefer not to unless convinced otherwise.

I wince whenever I hear the word "patische" - it is the sort of word that is generally used to mean "I can't think of a good reason for not doing a building which is in keeping with its surroundings other than admitting I'm either not good enough, or too self-important, to copy something else."

Anonymous said...

Pastiche could also mean "too unimaginative and thinking the height of architectural brilliance ended in 1890, hate glass, light and anything that isn't made of brick" we can all use loaded language. Frankly not sure how you can judge from a couple of renders and some basic floor plans. A standard Victorian terrace would not raise an eyebrow because it's familiar. That's all. They are square, or "boxy", only because you don't have a pitched roof on top. Victorian houses are square, I live in one and would love some more light. Let's be honest, some people will never like anything new amongst next to their apparently perfect terrace. Well it's 2012, be a bit flexible. The Victorians were.

MalB said...

I can't and don't judge from a couple of renders. I judge from the plans, elevations, design statements and other planning documentation which I recall originally seeing in 2008 at a Council meeting and which I have subsequently re-visited on the Council planning website. The relevant references are DC/07/66473 (main application), DC/11/76482 and DC/12/79751. If you look at these, you may be able to see why I describe the blocks as I do. It is certainly more than the simple absence of a pitched roof.

However I will also admit that I live in a Victorian house and, although a Georgian one might be even nicer, I love it. The cornices, ceiling roses, mouldings, roof ornaments, fishtail tiles, encaustic tiling (if only we had the door tiles with the herons), the high ceilings, you name it. Even the little horns on the sash windows. So I am undoubtedly biased, but I don't like blocky featureless buildings.

And I'd be the first to agree that the Victorians were quite keen to build things in different styles - just look at New Cross Fire Station or the Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School or the absolutely excellent Laurie Grove baths: but I find those buildings uplifting, amusing and pleasant: the Geoffrey road development just doesn't do that for me.

Jack Chaplin said...

oh look, more buildings for us to browse out on near brockley cross

good idea

Jack Chaplin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The objection I made and still have to this development is that planning permission was granted with no parking spaces, only cycle spaces as part of a 'green plan'. I don't know how much they will be asking for the flats but I imagine that at least some of the 9+ new residents will have cars instead of (or as well as) cycles.

I could not care less about the design merits as they won't look much like the drawings once they're up and costs have been shaved off the materials.

The 'idea of the mews' was to put horses and carriages in it - that's my understanding and that's why there are no utilities/services. If that site had been developed as secure off street parking instead of displacing another load of cars onto an already crowded street I wouldn't have minded, and a block of flats with a few parking bays in front would have been better. And as for the mews god knows who'd want to park in them now even if they could (they used to).

Brockley Nick said...

There is a reasonable amount of residential parking space available on Geoffrey Road (although admittedly, mainly further down). It gets used by commuters from other parts of London, who park in its empty spaces on week days.

Anonymous said...

The reason why there were no utilities/services is because horses don't need them. The land is ow changing use so utilities and services will be put in, why is that realavent?

Also, not sure why you think that secure parking would be such a life enhancing addition rather than housing. Don't know whether you got the memo, there is a woeful lack of housing in the country, especially London.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say that it was life enhancing, or disputed that there is reasonable space now. It's about displacement. I'm supportive of the encouragement of cycling and walking, particularly with Brockley's good transport links. A green plan aims to discourage not stop you owning a car. Even if none of the new residents own a car, their visitors and relatives will and car owners prefer to park where they can see them. That's why they don't park in the mews, even if they could and have parking bays.

The site was fly tipped for years which had put people off renting the garages (see above) before the fence was put up and permission sought for redevelopment. Given this and the shortage of building land in the conservation area, a housing development on the site is a good use of the space. A commitment to even a couple of parking spaces within the development would have gone some way to preventing the displacement of existing vehicles at that end of Geoffrey Road.

Let's say one person buys a flat in the development, they own a car but cycle or use the train/bus to work. Result - car parked in the road all day. Multiply that by the number of flats and ask residents in Geoffrey Road or at that end of Manor Avenue what they think.

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