133 Pepys Road

The new, double-fronted design
Mark Dyson writes:

Enclosure is the architecture practice for the proposed remodelling of Lydart House at 133 Pepys Road [an enormous Victorian villa in Telegraph Hill] and we will be presenting the scheme at Haberdasher’s Aske’s (Pepys Road Site) Dining Hall next Saturday morning (5th July) at 10.30am.

The current building
We have installed display boards in the lobby window at the Telegraph Hill Centre and the Hill Station so that people can familiarise themselves with the proposals before the presentation.

The effect of the work will be to convert it from a building providing six apartments (some one bed and some two bed) into one providing two family townhouses, a two bedroom flat on the lower ground floor and two three bedroom apartments to the east and west sides of the upper floors. The villa occupies a significant site within the Telegraph Hill Conservation Area and while the area is notable for the fine standard of its late Victorian buildings and urban layout, the house itself is an awkward design which sits uncomfortably on its prominent location. We hope properly to address that challenge.

I will be attending on behalf of Enclosure Architects (and as the architect of the scheme), as will Mr Marcus Everard, the owner of the building. The presentation will be moderated by Malcolm Bacchus of the Telegraph Hill Society and we are hoping that a representative of Lewisham Planning Department will also attend. I hope interested residents will join us.

35 comments:

terrencetrentderby said...

Looks good, good luck. Hopefully the NIMBYs won't object to this common sense renovation

Ala Skrakowski said...

Wow! We almost went to view one of the basement flats earlier this year when it was up for rent, but were put off by the awkward proportions of the rooms - and no separate kitchen, as well as the price. I think 'open living spaces' are a cop out, created for greedy landlords to squeeze as much into as little space - I hope they develop these properties with practicality and the end user in mind!

Headhunter said...

Look likes a pretty sympathetic conversion in the mock up...

Mezzer said...

Sympathetic and modern looking at the same time. I love it.

lord rogers said...

The sooner Zaha Hadid does something in the area the better . . . all this 'sympathetic conversion' is uninspired rubbish

Lord Foster said...

Agreed with lord Rodgers! Surely it would be more interesting to see a piece of modern architecture to challenge the vernacular in an engaging and meaningful way....how very safe how very beige...

Brockley Nick said...

I'd agree if they were starting from scratch, but this is an existing building being tarted up in a conservation area. Seems sensible to me. There's room in this world for beige.

Danja said...

it doesn't look like they are saving much more than the facade.

Lord Foster said...

Hmm judging by the massing it appears like a fair bit of new build to me. I just think it could be more interesting to offset the existing Victorian with a modern extension rather than pastiche. Just because the building is in a conservation area shouldn't mean a building should automatically be a mock style of a bygone era... Feels a bit thoughtless to me. Arguably pastiche is more insulting to the beautiful Victorian architecture in any case... But of course this my subjective opinion.

Headhunter said...

I don't see why this building is "beige". Although Victorian architecture is often regarded in architect circle as pretty tasteless and a mish mash of styles, the buildings often look quite majestic with their grand windows and steps, high ceilings, cornicing and intricate ironwork. Many of these buildings have aged well over the last 130 years and fit with their surroundings.


Modern architecture has its place but I very much doubt that we would end up with some kind of landmark structure made of top quality materials that will stand the test of time. Although this is the Telegraph Hill conservation area it's not likely to attract the sort of sale prices that would make it economically viable to use some top architect. I personally would prefer a pastiche than some half hearted attempt at something ground breaking, built to a budget. Also there's the environmental impact to consider - demolishing a building and putting something new in its place is far more wasteful than simply adapting or extending what's already there.


There are various examples of modern architecture in the Brockley conservation area. I quite like the cedar clad buildings on Geoffrey Rd but there's an absolute eyesore of modern construction jammed in between 2 Victorian buildings on Tyrrwhitt Rd up near Hilly Fields - a nasty, flat fronted concrete lump with slit windows which was built a few years. God knows how it was approved by planning....

Tamsin said...

Beige is surely what most people want to live in and next door to. Looks like after a lot of work they've produced something that will not obtrude.

stairlift said...

People only want beige if they are uninterested and ignorant, this predilection for preserving the past is fine, but we must move on when the opportunity presents itself. The problem is is the lack of creative architects and creative clients to spur them on - an opportunity only to clearly exposed in central Lewisham - bad, uneducated, philistine clients (the Council) and a complete lack of any architectural merit (probably because no actual architects were employed) in the concrete erections. The pleasant creative lighting border around the top of the swimming pool is like sticking a rose in a dogturd.

Robert said...

I think this is a complete rebuild isn't it? Though i could be wrong. I think Mark has done a great job. I wouldn't have objected to a good contemporary design either, and I'm sure he would have delivered that very well - but it's difficult to get anything other than Victoriana past planning on Telegraph Hill. Malcolm Bacchus and the Telegraph Hill Society are pretty relentless in chasing modernism off their turf ;)

Woodman said...

Personaly I can't think of a greater insult to a Victorian architect than to bolt a crappy glass box and some cedar cladding on the side of their building in the name of modernity, but as you say, opinions are subjective.

Woodman said...

Part of the problem now is that we have a generation of arctitects who've learned their trade during tough economic times, when the only thing that really counts is being able to do things quickly and cheaply (hence all of the uninspired glass and steel everywhere). The reason most of the great historical buildings are so great is that no expense (in time or money) was spared in making them.

Monkeyboy said...

The crap architecture tends to get replaced, that's often why all the "old" stuff around now is impressive. People wanted to preserve it. Natural selection innit.

THNick said...

Tamsin - will the TH Society be objecting to the roof windows? Otherwise it looks as sympathetic as it could be.

Robert said...

Or mindless reactionary Trolling? It's a toss up.

Robert said...

The vast majority of the Victorian houses in Brockley and Telegraph Hill weren't designed by architects - but by building contractors.

Jimmy Jangle said...

If Brockley was more fixated on its cruddy high streets than posh conservation areas everyone would benefit from a nicer place to live. Who cares about this house, the plans look good, I'd rather have a high street that didn't suck.

holmes said...

no shit sherlock

Danja said...

How about a steep mansardy roof that just looks completely inauthentic, stuck together with some bits which are supposed to look authentic and a terracy bit which is out of place on Pepys Rd, especially on what should be the grandest site. It's OK, but its a bit uninspiring for such a corner site. The original is too to be fair, but building it out into a smallish modern block like this dressed up in mock victoriana is a pretty insipid reaction to the planning constraints. If you are going to do victoriana, fill the site with something really OTT and let them have a floor or two more to pay for it.

Headhunter said...

So it's impossible to have both? Why is it 1 or the other?

terrencetrentderby said...

I agree, I wouldn’t want to incur the wrath of Malcolm Bacchus and his letter writing black shirts.

terrencetrentderby said...

Speaking of shirts have the "brown shirts" in SPAG been disarmed yet? They can always be relied on for a bit of street muscle.

THnick said...

That house is as close to Nunhead's excellent high St as Brockley though. So they don't care.

Headhunter said...

I agree to some extent but tastes change and what is considered crap now might be something future generations want to preserve. Go back to the 50s and 60s and we couldn't knock down Victorian architecture quick enough - look at what they did to Euston station and the arch, the Coal Exchange in the City and what was planned for St Pancras station (which thanks to John Betjeman was preserved). Look at what people did to period Georgian and Victorian houses - ripped out period features, replaced sash windows with aluminium, bolted on unsympathetic concrete extensions etc....

Lambert said...

Looks like an ordinary house that's been pumped up like a balloon and is on the verge of bursting.

Brockley Nick said...

That is a perfect description

montgolfier said...

balloons tend not to have corners, or windows, or be made of bricks or have gardens (etc)

Brockley Nick said...

Sir, you have the soul of a poet.

Rob said...

Having looked at the designs in more detail, I think this is a fantastic improvement to what is a bit of a funny shaped building from the side. An improvement that is in keeping with the surrounding area.

NAT said...

And benefit greatly for that, it might be suggested.

Brockley Nick said...

Who's this "they" you're talking about?

badger semen said...

The snobs on Telegraph Hill?

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