Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Walmer Yard in London, England by Peter Salter
December 27th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Peter Salter
Walmer Yard is the first residential scheme in Britain by Peter Salter, the internationally acclaimed teacher and architectural designer. 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.
Peter Salter AADipl (Hons) was educated at and taught at the AA for 13 years, in Intermediate and Diploma School. His unit was always concerned with the relationship between materiality and the poetic. In the early years of his career he worked for Alison and Peter Smithson, and his work attempts to carry the convictions of that practice. In 2004 he was jointly awarded the Annie Spinks prize for Excellence in Teaching, reaffirmed by the award of an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA in 2012. Following seven years as Head of School (Architecture) at the University of East London, he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, where he still teaches. His early built projects were in Japan, including the Inami Woodcarving Museum and Kamiichi Pavilion; Walmer Yard is his first building in the UK.
Fenella Collingridge AADipl (Hons) graduated with Honours at the Architectural Association and has a first class degree in Painting from Camberwell School of Art. She has taught architecture at East London University, the Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association and is currently teaching at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Fenella’s research has included ‘Architextiles’ in collaboration with the RCA textiles department, and Saturated Space with artist Antoni Malinowski, an exploration of the relationship between colour, tone, texture and form in architecture. For the past nine years, Fenella has collaborated with Peter Salter in developing the design and construction of his houses at Walmer Yard.
Contact Peter Salter