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front cover lifetime home design guide

Case Studies

Library Street

Part of the London Borough of Southwark's Elephant and Castle Housing Programme, Metaphorm Architects’ award-winning design for Library Street entails an apartment block and six townhouses built to the Lifetime Homes Standard.

The development of Library Street was an integral part of Southwark Council’s plan to establish architectural quality benchmarks for the Borough. Its subsequent recognition for excellence and quality design have helped the development to attain prominence as a showcase for the Borough.  

The Council’s brief was “to remove the visual and design differentiation between public and private housing, and to use the process to start to evolve a new generation of residential architecture for North Southwark, an architecture that expresses itself in terms of an urban form which is contemporary, light, flexible, mixed tenure and contained within a mixed use environment.”

Building to the Lifetime Homes Standard was critical in achieving the flexibility and accessibility that Southwark Council wanted to achieve, removing physical barriers to homes and the communal outside spaces at the heart of the design.

Design and Construction

Forty units were created including large family flats and six 4-bedroom town houses, for affordable rent and shared ownership sale.

The apartments are arranged around a communal courtyard and the townhouses overlook a community garden. The aim of this was to establish a sequence of public, semi-public and private open spaces to compliment the accessible nature of the homes and provide a sustainable, appealing and attractive community. The resulting environment is especially suitable for families with young children.

level access balcony and doorway to flat showing seamless route from outside in Sweeping vista from accessible space on the rooftop accessible via a lift

Image copyright L-R: Metaphorm Architects and Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Recognition and Awards

Library Street won the New London Architecture Award 2012 Best Residential Development and was specifically praised for the way it “worked very hard to squeeze a lot of quality from the budget.” The scheme demonstrates how the Lifetime Homes Standard, designed in at the outset, is attainable without putting extra pressure on resources.

The development was runner-up in the New London Architecture People's Choice Award 2012 and a finalist in the Housing Design Awards 2012.


Metaphorm Architects (opens new window)