Microgarden Homes

Peabody Housing Competition: Small Projects Panel
Location: Palmers Garages, Archway 2013

We propose that the accommodation is located along the edges of St John’s Grove and Brookside Road, allowing both buildings to have ideal southern orientation while generating a central communal space. The south facades of the buildings house ‘microgardens’ in front of living spaces. The microgardens are key 
to the innovative vision of this scheme and serve several purposes: they provide
 semi-outdoor amenity space for adaptable use throughout
 the seasons; they act as rooms for the residents to enjoy and use for 
gardening; they attribute to an ideal environmental strategy for cross ventilation and passive 
solar heat gain in the winter months. The deep 
overhangs of the ceiling/floors above prevent hot summer sun 
from creating uncomfortable conditions.

The
 accommodation is made up of 4No 2 Bed / 3 Person duplex homes, accessible
at ground level, and 4No 1 Bed / 2 Person flats stacked on levels 2 and 3 on the 
Brookside Road building. These flats are served by a lift and stair at the north
west corner of the site. The spatial planning supports different types of exchange between residents
 and the community. Entrances to homes are onto common outdoor areas to increase social interaction. The central outdoor space supports informal activities and is animated by connecting homes, gardens and the surrounding streets.

The stacking of flat types facilitates pre-fabrication with potential use of cross
laminated timber. The external treatment is considered to be brick and framing 
to the glazed garden structures is thought of as timber. Roofs could
 be planted to support local biodiversity or be used as terraces for the flats below.