Autor Architecture has received planning permission for a residential development in Willesden Green that will incorporate a piece of local history. The last remaining wall of the Garnier Signs factory, built in the 1890s, will be preserved as part of a proposal to create 12 apartments and 6 two-storey mews houses. This helps to tell a story about the complex layered history of the area while still providing much-needed high-quality housing.
The brownfield land has most recently been used for a carwash, although that has been closed for the past 10 years. Following the initial onsite demolition, the housing will slot into the backland site left behind, which has been carefully designed to prevent overlooking into neighbouring properties and therefore reduce the impact on existing residents. The dual aspect apartments are wrapped in a façade that features a series of changing pitched roofs, referencing the adjacent Imam al-Jawad Centre, with an ocular window that matches too.
The mews houses are inspired by the long, low form of the warehouse that occupied the site previously. This is then cut into sections like slices from a loaf of bread to create individual properties, with terraces between them which in turn brings additional light inside. The south-facing houses have been aligned to receive an abundance of sunlight to the rear with angled walls that moderate overlooking, without reducing views for the occupants.