Grey herringbone brickwork covers Chan & Eayrs' south London block


Pale grey bricks are arranged to create a herringbone pattern across the facade of this housing and studio block in New Cross, southeast London.

New Cross Lofts by Chan and Eayres

The project by architectural duo Zoe Chan and Merlin Eayrs is named New Cross Lofts, and provides a pair of residences and a pair of workspaces on a steeply sloping side street opposite the area's rail station.

New Cross Lofts by Chan and Eayres

New Cross is home to Goldsmiths university, and since the opening of a new rail service to east and central London in 2012 the area has seen a marked spurt of redevelopment.

New Cross Lofts by Chan and Eayres

The building's distinctive patterned facade is based on an earlier project by Chan, who applied the same technique to her Herringbone House in Islington.


Herringbone is a pattern more typically used for flooring, but has been increasingly making its way onto the facades of buildings including an apartment block in Prague featuring fretted balustrades and a community centre in south London that mimics the frontage of its mock-tudor neighbour.

Each of the properties – the residences on the upper floors and the studios at ground level – is accessed via a flight of concrete steps, sheltered by a glazed structure with a slanted roof.

New Cross Lofts by Chan and Eayres

Inside, built-in cabinetry and benches help to maximise the compact spaces, which have large street-facing windows.

New Cross Lofts by Chan and Eayres

Channelled glazing obscures the bottom panes, protecting the residences from the views of commuters passing the front of the building, while the tops of the windows are untextured to make the most of natural light.

New Cross Lofts by Chan and Eayres

The architects chose kitchens designed by Suffolk brand British Standard, which feature wooden work surfaces, while small marble tiles coat the walls in the bathrooms.

New Cross Lofts by Chan and Eayres

Walls throughout the rest of the building are covered in a mixture of timber panelling and mottled plasterwork, which gives the properties a rustic appearance.

New Cross Lofts by Chan and Eayres

Panelling and window frames are painted in muted hues from ranges by Farrow & Ball and the Little Greene Paint Company.


In contrast to the solid paintwork, the oak floors are lime-washed to reveal the grain and the apartments are dressed with distressed furniture.


The New Cross Lofts are currently on sale through The Modern House, a British estate agent specialising in the sale of contemporary architecture across the UK.

The London-based agency recently overhauled its offices with furniture designed by Louis Schulz – a member of the Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble.

Photography is by Michael Sinclair.

  • davvid

    Nice photos of a fairly conventional building.

  • amsam

    Very handsome. I wish they’d kept it all pointing the same direction though.

  • Kobi

    Absolutely stunning property. The use of materials is almost pornographic. Grey bricks, mmmmmmm.

    • Thomas

      What do you mean by a property being “pornographic”?

      • Durgen Jensen

        You don’t get it?

    • Myles Cummings

      Mmmmmm. 50 shades of grey bricks…

  • Leo

    I like it very much. Simple building with beautiful finishings. I would be interested in seeing the plans. I wonder if this herringbone pattern is just for the aesthetic effect or does it have another utility?

  • Chris MacDonald

    Love it.

  • brooklyndesigner

    I really love it.

  • brooklyndesigner

    Are the walls of the stairwell also concrete or some sort of faux-finish paint?

    • xoxokdrama

      The walls on the stairwell are not concrete but are mottled (coloured with streaks or blotches of different shade) plasterwork. It also looks like the walls are polished.

  • dave brubeck

    I really like the windows, they suit the contemporary warehouse feel of the building. Is it possible to find out who supplied them?

  • agagnu

    Interesting that the pattern gives an optical 3D effect, but why not let it come out from the ground without the horizontal starter courses?! And the edges may need a bit more thought, perhaps.

  • Alan

    Beautiful except for that shadow gap skirting detail. Just big enough that you’ll be able to see all the accumulated dirt and just small enough that you won’t be able to get a brush in there!

  • Myles Cummings

    Oh Thomas, use your imagination darling!

  • James

    Great design but I’m not sure it reflects the area it is built. To me it looks like something built in Sweden rather than south London. Why doesn’t it speak of the vibrant place in which it sits?

  • Londoner

    Gentrification is in full swing. Londoners are being pushed out by rich people looking to live conveniently and culturally. This development, beautiful as it is, is contributing to this economic oppression.

    • barleduc

      Londoner, how is this contributing to economic oppression? The architect is a Londoner (born in London) who manages to build in her own city. I hope she’s rich but I doubt it. Seems to me this is a great development, by locals for locals?