People live on the outskirts as well …

Kolakowski, Marcin Mateusz (2000) People live on the outskirts as well …. Architektura & Biznes, 92 (3). pp. 20-25. ISSN 1230-1817

There Are Also People Living on the Edge [A&B 2000]

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London stretches as far as this building. At least this is how the architect Walter Menteth visualised it. Two facades symbolise two different areas—rural and urban—separated by the borderline which also cuts through the location of the Warburton Terrace residential build¬ing. The two facades, or rather two faces, form a con¬trast, a formal tension, which attracts attention with its underlying aesthetic idea.
The large windows of the south, “urban” facade over¬look London’s outermost commercial street. The north¬ern, “rural” wall of brick and wood faces a number of single-storey buildings. The south side includes four flats on each floor, while the north side houses common-use rooms, technical rooms, a guest room, and the office. On the east side all tenants have access to a double-height room with a kitchen and a small mezzanine. Always alert to the issues of light and the four sides of the world, Menteth made sure to locate a small window right under the ceiling of this room, to let in the first rays of the morning sun.
The colours of the external walls reflect the facades: where there is brickwork outside, the inner wall is red, and the same is the case with yellow plaster. We also encounter either white or non-plastered or wood-clad walls, and all of them reflect what is going on on the ex¬ternal surface of the building, offering a quite pleasing variety of colours.
The building points to the natural directions rather like a compass. This is known to reduce the use of energy by up to 1/3, and Menteth seems to have made a point of it. The building is accessed through the main entrance from the north, leading the visitor into a small courtyard where all the routes intersect: entrances to the ground floor and upper floors, and the passage to the garden.
There is also a fully detached screen made of plain wooden planks which works much like a net curtain, making it possible to see the street from the courtyard without being seen from the street. The planks of the screen are contrasted by a large brickwork surface, ac¬centuated only by a somewhat protruding window of the guest room. Although you see only one window on this fa¬cade from the outside, inside you will encounter several window shutters creating a home-like atmosphere. These open onto brickwork with gaps which provide ventilation without disturbing the austere expression of the outer wall, not to mention the cost effectiveness of this solution.
The south facade, with lots of glazed windows and balcony doors, stands for openness to the world, the sun, and the city. Each flat can also be exited towards the south, directly into the garden from the ground floor and through a gallery from upper storeys. The grey belt in the uppermost section of the south facade is made up of ‘Sto AG’ glass sun filters, a few centimetres thick. They reflect sunrays when the sun is high and let them in when it is lower, dosing heating to the walls and dou¬bling as insulation, bringing up to 22% energy savings.
Still, the most dramatic is the west side where the “urban” facade meets the “rural” one. The brick offers a sharp contrast to the wood, as do the vertical planks to the narrow horizontal kitchen windows that seem to change the scale of the whole building. There is a gap between them, accommodating the northern gallery,

Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K200 Building
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K110 Architectural Design Theory
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K210 Building Technology
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:18029
Deposited On:28 Jul 2015 10:45

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