Lark Row London

Archio has been appointed by Squeezed London to create a new community-led, self-build housing project along the Regents Canal. The project is part of the Tower Hamlets Affordable Self-Build Programme, which creates opportunities for communities and groups of individuals to build their own homes. Through this programme, the council aims to make it easier for potential self-builders to work together to access the land they need, to deliver more affordable housing in the borough.

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Squeezed London are a diverse group of “squeezed middle” Tower Hamlets residents, who came together to build their own affordable homes, after attending LB Tower Hamlets Self Build Forum, a regular meeting organised by the local authority for people on their self-build register. Archio helped the group to win the Lark Row site in the first place and has now been selected from a group of practices to design and deliver the scheme within a tight, waterside plot. Squeezed London are supported by Community Led Housing London, who provide funding and expertise to support people to create homes in the capital.

The client group want to live in an affordable and sustainable co-housing community in London, as they have been priced out of the local housing markets both where they currently live and across the capital where prices are off kilter with salaries. Aspirations for the project are high, with inclusivity, community, and sustainable construction all key parts of the agenda. Archio responded to the brief with a proposal for a single block that steps down from four to three storeys, designed using Passivhaus principles for a good environmental performance. Materials such as CLT will be selected to reduce the scheme’s embodied carbon, while shared spaces will help engender the sense of community that the residents greatly desire.