after seven years of development, the first images of ‘walmer yard’ — a residential scheme articulated around a shared courtyard — have been revealed. conceived by professor and architectural designer peter salter, the project comprises four crafted houses in london’s notting hill district. within the scheme, a variety of volumes and materials create rooms and circulation spaces that allow for domestic use, as well as private peace and sensory experience.

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
the residential scheme is articulated around a shared courtyard
image © hélène binet

 

 

walmer yard was commissioned by developer crispin kelly to demonstrate the potential of peter salter’s drawing, design, and engineering skills. having worked with alison and peter smithson in the 1970s, salter then worked as a teacher at the architectural association and, since 2006, has been professor of architectural design at cardiff university’s welsh school of architecture. the development is the direct result of salter’s extensive studies.

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the project comprises four crafted houses in london’s notting hill district
image © hélène binet

 

 

placing an emphasis on suitability and functionality — rather than ease of construction, convenience, or cost — the design is intended as an alternative to contemporary domestic architecture. the scheme employs a combination of new, old, and non-standard materials, a method of experimentation that required a high standard of craftsmanship. as a result, hand-made, on-site fabrication is prevalent across the site.

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
a wide variety of volumes and materials have been employed
image © hélène binet

 

 

each house within the interlocking plan has been cast from in-situ poured concrete, and is organized around an acoustically engineered timber-lined courtyard positioned away from the street. at the uppermost level, a series of timber yurt-shaped structures — topped with tiled copper roofs — are reminiscent of the ‘pepper pots’ on the leads of elizabethan country homes.

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
the scheme places an emphasis on suitability and functionality
image © hélène binet

 

 

internally, each floor is an single unrestricted span supported by the rectangular and elliptical stairwells. this is intended to ensure internal flexibility, while permitting light deep into each room. each space contains a piece of black architectural furniture: a bathroom, toilet, or cupboard, constructed from steel, and finished with beeswax.

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
the design is intended as an alternative to contemporary domestic architecture
image © hélène binet

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
each space contains a piece of black architectural furniture
image © hélène binet

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
the layout promotes flexibility and versatility
image © hélène binet

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
hand-made, on-site fabrication is prevalent across the site
image © hélène binet

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
the design intends to provide a sensory experience
image © hélène binet

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
a series of timber yurt-shaped structures are clad with tiled copper
image © hélène binet

peter-salter-walmer-yard-four-houses-london-designboom-02
the timber-lined courtyard is positioned away from the street
image © hélène binet

 

 

project info:

 

client: crispin kelly
design: peter salter
associate designer: fenella collingridge
collaborators: antoni malinowski, mole architects, john comparelli architects, hugo keene, nick coombe, shaw building group

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