Today’s Solutions: October 01, 2023

Redeveloping a former scrapyard into a site for sustainable, solar-powered houses may sound like a difficult challenge, but that’s exactly what a London-based architecture firm managed to pull off.

Unit One Architects has turned an unused lot in northern London into a row of dwellings, featuring solar panels, energy-efficient insulation, and semi-permeable drainage to sustainably manage rainwater. Originally a residential area, this spot was hit by a V1 bomb strike during World War II. In the years following, the neglected commercial site sat unoccupied, morphing from a back-land plot into garages and eventually a working scrapyard.

The unused site became a hot-spot for criminal activity because of its lack of safeguarding and general isolation. But in 2013, the land was purchased and plans began to transform the site back into its initial purpose.

Unit One Architects designed the set of row-style homes so that the site couldn’t continue to be cut through on foot, therefore dissuading criminals and improving security for the surrounding area as well.

The place now consists of homes embellished with rooftop solar panels, high-quality insulation and a high level of air-tightness and built-in underfloor heating, making the dwellings as energy-efficient as possible.

On top of that, the houses were also positioned on an east-west axis to allow optimal light to shine into the habitable rooms, no matter what time of day, while making the homes feel more expansive, regardless of the narrow width of the building plot.

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