79 Fitzjohns Avenue
Brick Manufacturer: Ibstock Brick Limited
Architect: Sergison Bates architects
Brickwork Contractor: Lee Marley Brickwork Limited
About the project
The development consists of 33 apartments over 6 storeys specifically designed to accommodate older residents who wish to live independently but as part of a community and share services and facilities.
Brick is the vernacular material of the Hampstead context and is therefore integral to the success of design. However, it is the manner in which brick is used in the nearby buildings, both mansion blocks and houses, that lifts the material from mere
‘wallpaper’ to something more substantial and gives it a sense of purposeful quality. Deep reveals and layered façades imbue the surrounding buildings with a feeling of permanence whilst stucco, stone and terracotta are introduced to provide visual definition and elaboration.
The proposal is a contemporary interpretation of these qualities. The façade is conceived of as a series of bays - each distinct in its form and character - which gives the building a strong vertical rhythm. Window openings are tuned to reinforce the feeling of weight - deeper at the base
of the building and almost flush at the top, heightening the sense of specificity to the elevational treatment. Pre-cast concrete framing and lintels are layered onto this brick base and these elements unify the windows into groupings. The two interlocking villas break down the mass of the development and allow views through to the green space at the rear of the site.