forest houses with sawtooth roofs rise from a brick base in london

Dallas-Pierce-Quintero woodland homes in Wanstead Flats

Dallas-Pierce-Quintero design studio completes construction of “Forest Houses,” three interwoven, “upside-down” buildings Houses is located between townhouses and the edge of Wanstead Flats in London, United Kingdom. The project envisages the conversion of a former building yard into a complex consisting of a three-bedroom family house and two smaller two-bedroom apartments. The scheme revitalizes an underused and restricted derelict lot bounded by a row of townhouses to the front and the Flats’ parkland to the rear, delivering a site-specific solution that can respond to and respect the neighboring properties through orientation and orientation.

The architecture firm follows an interactive design approach through spatial models and an open dialogue that avoids being constrained by predefined solutions. The innovative plan is based on “inverted” living, with private areas and bedrooms located on the ground floor and the kitchen and living spaces positioned on the protruding first floor. The public zones benefit from open, elevated views, while the intimate areas below are screened. In a nod to the site’s slightly industrial background, the upper floors of each house feature a metallic sawtooth Roof Profile that sensitively adapts to the height of the rear eaves of the adjacent residential buildings and avoids the appearance of a too dominant, massive development. The lower volumes act as a base that composes a system of bright colors masonry that wraps around the ground floor rooms and courtyards.

all pictures by FRENCH+TYE

Masonry layout intertwined indoor-outdoor routes

The first floors of the Forest Houses intentionally face north, with large main windows providing ample natural light, natural ventilation and views of Wanstead Flats in the common areas. From the outside, the glazing reflects the natural surroundings and roots the scheme in its context, while the two windows along the east and west facades are permanently fluted and frosted to ensure privacy. On the ground floor level, a jigsaw puzzle arrangement efficiently connects the floorplans of the three units around a series of lightwells and courtyards, introducing a strong indoor-outdoor relationship. The interlaced masonry system allows natural sunlight deep into the floor plan while creating private outdoor spaces and a visual connection with all bedrooms. London studio Dallas-Pierce-Quintero arranges large windows in the hallways overlooking the courtyards, enhancing the sense of contact between the pathways and outdoor spaces while maintaining the design’s distinct sense of lightness and openness throughout.

Brick and metal are the main elements in a robust and durable range of materials

Brick and metal are the main elements of the residences

The project introduces a subtle connection point to Wanstead Flats and allows direct access to the extensive grasslands through the property’s perimeter wall. Brick and metal are the key elements in a robust, durable and low-maintenance palette of materials that leads to the development of a site-specific architectural language and breaks the building mass down to human scales. Light brickwork blends seamlessly into the boundary walls of neighboring properties and encloses the ground floor areas and inner courtyards like a base. Translucent details feature prominently in both the private courtyards and lightwells, while subtly recessed bricks mark the entrances, adding texture and softness. The overlying light volumes on the first floor are all clad in the same profiled metal sheets, creating a highly textured and unified outer shell that flows between the walls and the roofs. The interior leaves structural elements bare, while white exposed blockwork is complemented by a tactile cross-laminated timber frame above. The construction combines traditional and modern methods and uses responsibly sourced and sustainable materials throughout.

large main windows provide ample daylight and natural ventilation overlooking the Wanstead Flats

The ground floor spaces create a plinth-like appearance that supports the light metal volumes above

The project transforms a former building yard into a complex of three interconnected apartments

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