Wakefield Street Townhouses
by Piercy & Company

| 12 comments

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

These London townhouses by architects Piercy & Company have chunky banisters formed from thickly layered birch plywood.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

The stairs zigzag up from the basement floor to the second floor roof terraces of each of the three residences, which are located behind a listed wall within the conservation area of Bloomsbury.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

The two-storey-high facades of each house are constructed from a sandy-coloured brick that is lighter in colour than the brown and red brickwork of the surrounding historic buildings.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

The heights of the buildings intentionally line up with their neighbours, while window sills and lintels have been designed with matching proportions.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

Perforated steel louvers shade the windows and skylights bring daylight into each house from above.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

Other projects with interesting staircases include an empty tower and an Olympic MuseumSee more staircases on Dezeen »

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

Photography is by Jack Hobhouse.

Here's some more information from Piercy & Company:


Three contemporary townhouses in London's Historic Bloomsbury

London, UK: Three contemporary townhouses have been completed in Bloomsbury, Central London. Designed by Piercy&Company for Great Marlborough Estates and located within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area, the townhouses marry contextual sensitivity with contemporary urban living.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

The townhouses are adjacent to a number of Grade II listed buildings, a Grade II* listed Historic Gardens and bounded on one side by a Grade II listed wall. The buildings’ design echoes the materials, proportions and forms of the surrounding conservation area.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

Heavily textured masonry and finely detailed stone cills, lintels and stringer courses create a contextually sensitive skin whilst the window proportions and generous floor to ceiling heights reflect those of the surrounding Georgian buildings. These fine grain details and proportional references interpret the existing language of the Bloomsbury Conservation Area into a contemporary idiom.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

Inside, the layout of the internal spaces is highly flexible. The houses can be configured as 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms. In addition to upper floor bedrooms, the ground floor can be a lounge + study, or bedroom + study, or two bedrooms to make it a 4 bed house. This spatial fluidity responds to contemporary conditions of urban living where household compositions are varied and family living arrangements change over time.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

The penetration of light down into the lower levels of the houses informs many aspects of the design; from the skylight playfully positioned above the top floor bath to the large corner windows and sliding glass doors which feature throughout. An open-plan kitchen and dining area at lower ground floor level leads onto a light-filled sunken courtyard which also provides private outdoor living and dining space beneath the historic listed wall.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

A key architectural statement in each townhouse is a bespoke staircase, handmade in birch and ash. The staircase is fully revealed with open landings and internal glass partitions, naturally lit from above, allowing light to penetrate from roof to basement. This open staircase is only made possible through sophisticated fire engineering, including the use of domestic sprinklers.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

Views over St Georges Gardens provide a green backdrop for many of the living/bedroom spaces. Careful alignment of laser cut shutters and louvres provides privacy to residents whilst preventing visitors to St George’s Gardens feeling overlooked.

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

As Piercy&Company’s Stuart Piercy describes:
“The site presented many issues with a beautiful grade II * garden and listed buildings to all sides - so it was very sensitive with an extremely vocal residents group. The key was to introduce a finer grain to the facade interpreting motifs from the conservation area in a contemporary language, while on the inside the opposite is true - we wanted large volumes of flexible light filled engaging spaces. For me the project’s success is that the spaces feel light and generous while the houses sit very gently in the context of the 300 year old gardens.”

Wakefield Street Townhouses by Piercy and Company

Project Address 8, 9 and 10 Wakefield Street, London WC1N

Project Team Members
Client: Great Marlborough Estates
Architect: Piercy&Company
Project Manager: Paragon LLP
Structural Engineer: Pringuer-James Consulting Engineers
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers: Martin Design Associates
Main Contractor: Forcia Limited

  • xtiaan

    What’s this whole “plywood everything” interior movement about? I don’t get it.

  • http://twitter.com/burtja @burtja

    Looks like structural cross laminated timber to me rather than a veneer.

    • whyowhy

      you can see that it is structural plywood if you have a look at the close-up shot – there is no cross-lamination.

  • matt

    Loving the birch and ash staircase!

  • nicey

    on one hand the staircase is elegantly minimal; tres chic.
    but on the other hand
    a colossally excessive wasteful consumption of birch ply; just plain vulgar.

    • mcmlxix

      I'm not finding much that is elegant about the staircase. It's rather masculine and rigid.

      • Mrs_Smith

        it’s masculine and awesome.

  • analoguedigital

    The staircase looks solid and enveloping, gives an understated value to circulation, but then the mix match use of different woods on doors and floors gives it a car-crash feel.

  • jordanjlloyd

    This house yours for a cool £2.5 million.

  • pete

    Can’t help the comparison: Japanese houses seem less pompous, yet more sensible and homely to me than this…

    • Chris

      I’m completely the opposite. Japanese houses never seem homely to me; white walls and glass don’t do it for me. Brick and wood however seem far more homely and thus I love this building.

  • http://www.walnutgreydesign.com/ Mr Walnut Grey

    I'm going with 'masculine and awesome' :-)