Cedar Mews

The Cedar Mews apartments on Geoffrey Road are finally complete and ready for appraisal. The development extends behind these tall maisonettes with a single-floor building, in which neighbours face each other. 

The architecture is in stark contrast to Malpas Mews, another recent development, at the other end of Geoffrey Road. So what do you think of this design and which do you prefer for Brockley - modern or pastiche?

25 comments:

Aricana said...

I think both developments work in their respective locations.

maisie_moo said...

The other ones are perfectly OK but these ones are more interesting. I was hoping there might be some floor plans or photos on the link but can't see any. It says 2 of the 4 apartments have already been sold.

Tim Lund said...

Just on the aesthetics, I marginally prefer the pastiche, but I'm conservative that way. I'd be interested in environmental and economic factors too. Which development delivers the lowest carbon foot print per resident?

Woodman said...

Are people meant to live in that? It looks like a library or school. Also, the pedant in me is wondering what makes the Malpas ones any more of a pastiche than these ones? - they're both copying other styles...

Richard Elliot said...

I think Cedar Mews will be open as part of London Open Houses on 21st & 22nd Septermber. I'm planning to visit.

Headhunter said...

Cedar Mews is right at the end of my road (Manor Ave). I'm not sure how it makes me feel... My 1st impression was that they'd built 2 giant garden sheds but I think the wood finish works with all the greenery around. The height/scale of the buildings are right for the location - on a par with the taller Victorian villas on Geoffrey Rd.... I just wonder how the wood finish will age and whether it will be maintained properly in the years to come

Jj said...

Each works in its respective location. Malpas needed the continuity for the street, the geoffrey road building is seperated from the row of villas and is commendable for not following the 'box with a balcony' construction that is popping up everywhere.

Robert said...

I don't think the two villa's are particularly interesting, and I too wonder how that cedar cladding will look when it has aged. I was under the impression it would be stained black, from my memory of the planning application?


I am more interested in what's going on behind them. On one hand, perhaps it would have been better to offer the two villa's some kind of back garden - but those "chalet" like terraced bungalows are pretty unusual. Definitely not your standard London new-build. Definitely housing for non-misanthropes.

Max Calò said...

I'm allergic to formaldehyde and all that treated wood emits quite a lot of it during this first period of it being exposed. I walked past it a few weeks ago and really felt it. I wonder if others had my experience. I don't know how widespread my allergy is.

Woodman said...

I'd guess your allergy is very rare - certainly to be that sensitive to it. I've not seen what sort of boards they've used but they shouldn't be 'emitting' anything, unless you've happened to pass when they've been cutting or sanding it. Does that mean you can't go to Ikea?

Max Calò said...

It may be very rare, and it took me a long time to understand what is it that affects me.
I can go to Ikea but for example I can't stay for long in a room that's been newly renovated and has got fresh chipboards under the carpet.

Danja said...

The cladding won't be treated - it is western red cedar which is durable (for a softwood) without treatment. Tanalising (other) softwoods also does not involve formaldehyde - it is a waterbased treatment using copper compounds and anti-fungal azoles (like athletes foot or thrush treatments). The glues used in chipboard/mdf/cheap plywood do tend to be formaldehyde based so that makes more sense. Wood dusts make pretty effective allergens, especially the more durable species as those contain their own built in toxic compounds which give them their natural durability - as woodman said you may have passed while they were cutting or sanding and got some dust exposure, but the cladding won't be giving off any meaningful gases.

To those wondering what will happen to the finish it has probably been left untreated and will go grey overtime, like all wood does with exposure to UV bleaching. This will happen unevenly, so eg the soffiting under the balcony will look that fresh orangey colour for a lot longer than the front facade which (assuming I am right in guessing that it has been left natural without a UV-filtering finish) will be fading to grey by next summer.
Eventually over a few years it should all more or less even up to an attractive silvery gray, although much depends on the detailing. Any lack of care in choosing fasteners and water-shedding details can lead to less attractive dark streaks and stains... Time will tell.

Max Calò said...

Thanks, yes there may have been exposed wood dust, the cladding had just gone up, I think it wasn't even finished yet, I assumed it was the wood treatement, and I was evidently wrong. Thanks.

heckmcbuff said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but if the building caught fire, I imagine it would burn down in roughly 20 minutes?

Tim said...

I think it's fantastic. Let's face it - Brockley is an average London district, with some beautiful architecture and some horrible. It's great that this gives us something to talk about. I think Britain is very unadventurous, in general, with regard to architecture. Go to Scandinavia, Holland or Germany and look at some of the buildings there. And once you start thinking out of the box (no pun intended), some wonderful things are possible with the interior.

I don't really want to live in a city where everything we build looks like it was done in 1900. As long as the quality is good (I have no idea), I think it's a great addition.

Brockley Nick said...

Very interesting thanks. It will definitely benefit from weathering.

Woodman said...

I wouldn't mind it if they managed to put a it of imagination into it, and some artistry. I know those things have fallen by the wayside as it's much cheaper to just fling up a glass/steel/wood-clad box, but that's depressing. Todays architects and builders are leaving no legacy for future generations, which is a shame.

maisie_moo said...

There's another very modern looking wood and glass building (not 100% sure whether it's a house) down the little mews on the upper part of Cranfield Road (down the side of St Gregorio's church). There's quite a high fence so you can't see it properly, but it looks quite intriguing. Can anyone tell me any more about it?

lb said...

Brilliant use of the site, sensitive massing and handling of architectural form, good choice of materials, cheap and hamfisted detailing. Still miles better than pastiche or than 90% of other stuff. Very nice, really.

Not that any of this will be "affordable", mind.

Brockley Jon said...

Where can I see said buildings behind? The Foxtons link is rubbish.

Robert said...

The architects website has some photographs.

http://www.grovesnatcheva.com/?portfolio=cedar-mews-geoffrey-road-south-london


Or you could wander over and take a look yourself.

Robert said...

Designed by Burd Haward Architects, completed about a year ago I think (though I lose track of time). It's OK, I just have a knee-jerk reaction to the use of cedar-cladding wherever it's used. It always looks terrible after a short period of time.

Brockley Jon said...

Thanks. Wow, that is definitely an interesting social experiment!

Tamsin said...

It is open next Saturday http://events.londonopenhouse.org/building/19207 and the fact sheet deserves a prize in the pretentious tosh category "jewel-like appearance of their cedar clad facades". Still I suppose we could all do with some "lush optimism". Personally prefer Malpas - but they should have chimneys - even if only to vent the boilers and cooker-hoods.

roysavage said...

i would perfer if the wood stays like this, this modern thing about, letting the wood stain with time and looking like an old shed is so retro and old hat. it would have need nice instead of wood we had some sort of polished metal tiles or somethuing a bit more of our times. A pastich would have been really bad, really bad. any new infil should be uber modern. the exiting we keep and refurbish not destroy.

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