Case Study: Dallas-Pierce-Quintero Forest Houses

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Set between terraced houses and the edge of Wanstead Flats in London’s Newham, the Dallas-Pierce-Quintero Forest Homes are revitalizing an awkward brownfield site, once a builder’s yard, with three new two- and three-bedroom homes. The program also includes the renovation and extension of a former end-of-terrace store at the entrance to the site to create a further one-bed house.

Following a number of unsuccessful regeneration attempts, the client’s brief was to maximize the potential of this underutilized infill parcel and provide a site-specific solution that respected neighboring properties.

Our approach is based on ‘upside down’ living – moving the bedrooms to the ground floor and positioning the living areas on the overhanging first floor. This simple refit gives the well-used living space plenty of daylight and views over Wanstead Flats, creating a strong relationship between indoors and outdoors, and provides a more secluded feel to the bedrooms below.

Tucked into the farthest corner of the site, the layouts of the houses are nested around a series of skylights and private courtyards. These draw natural light deep into the floor plan, creating the feeling that all routes are connected to the outdoors. The houses purposely face north, to reduce neighbor overhangs, and feature a distinct sawtooth roof profile, a nod to the site’s industrial heritage.
Jonathan Dallas, Co-Founder, Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

Project data

Start on site September 2019
Completion January 2022
Gross interior floor area 330m2
Building cost £1.1 million
Construction cost per m2 £3,000
Architect Dallas Pierce Quintero
Customer Private
structural engineer Bend
Quantity Surveyor Andrew D Smith
lead designer Dallas Pierce Quintero
Certified building inspector MLM
Main contractor BATS Ilford
building control MLM
Planning Advisor Murdoch Associates
landscape consultant Tim Moya Associates
Light Surveyor’s Law Consultation on the right to light
Tree consultant Charles McCorkell Arboriculture consulting firm
Sustainable development consultant Kent Sustainability
Contamination Expert Stansted Environmental Services
CAD software used Vector works
Expected life 50 years

The architect’s choices

From the outset, we wanted a minimal material palette for this project, which focused on sturdiness, durability and durability. Light-coloured masonry and profiled sheets are the main materials to give a simple and homogeneous exterior appearance. To carry this vision throughout the project, we wanted a high performance window and door system with a slim and attractive profile. Crafted from aluminum and wood, the dark window and door finishes complement the refined exterior and frame the meadow views of Wanstead Flats. For the large north-facing openings, we adapted the Velfac sliding door system to maximize natural light and ventilation.
Jonathan Dallas, Co-Founder, Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

specification

Brick and metal form the main elements of a robust, durable and easy-to-maintain material palette, helping to develop a site-specific architectural language. Light-coloured masonry envelops the boundary wall, ground floor spaces and courtyards to create a ‘plinth’. “Random” permeable details in private courtyards and skylights, adding texture and softness.

Perched above, the light volumes on the first floor are all clad in profiled sheeting, resulting in a highly textured and seamless outer envelope, flowing between walls and roofs. Inside, structural elements are left tactile and unfinished – white, clear-faced cinder blocks are complemented by exposed CLT wall panels on the upper floors.

Celebrating simplicity in materials and innovation in construction, this low-tech yet super insulated project merges traditional and modern building methods to create a home that is truly durable and efficient to manage. The masonry construction at the base of the project lends itself to the site’s irregular shape and intricate floor plan. Once built, the first stage “pods” were then delivered as CLT panels and assembled in less than 5 days. Large window openings are present throughout but are carefully balanced with the highly insulated building envelope, to optimize thermal comfort. All materials have been responsibly selected and chosen for their longevity, recyclability, and ability to provide a healthy, toxin-free home.
Jonathan Dallas, Co-Founder, Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

Selected products

Front door
Velfac
1448 x 2233mm Ribo alu 2 Umbra Gray (aluminum outside), Pure White (wood inside) Veneered door leaf
Front door of new housing
velfac.fr

The patio door
Velfac
1776 x 2233mm Ribo alu 2 Umbra Gray (aluminum outside)/Pure White (wood inside) Veneered door leaf
French doors to bedrooms and hallways
velfac.fr

the Windows
Velfac
1776 x 1561 mm Velfac 200i Anthracite (aluminum outside)/Pure White (wood inside)
Unit 3 Entrance Yard
2798 x 633 mm Velfac 200 Umbra Gray (aluminum outside)/Pure White (wood inside)
High window in the rear extension of Unit 1
velfac.fr

Sliding hinged door
Velfac
2726x2175mm Velfac 200 Energy. Umbra Gray (aluminum outside)/Pure White (wood inside)
Set of north-facing windows in the kitchen/living/dining room in units 2, 3 and 4
velfac.fr

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