Bermondsey Island, London

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To deliver a new 6-storey inner city social housing development on a tight historic site, two sides of which respond to a busy road junction; whilst meeting the latest housing quality and sustainability standards and future maintenance requirements.


The solution was to adopt two contrasting facade treatments, with the two street facing elevations presenting a heavyweight, closed visual and the remaining faces a more open, lightweight appearance. With the building hard up against the pavement, long term maintenance to the street facing elevations was a major consideration, so Ibstock Smooth Blue Tilebrick, laid with open perpends and 1mm mortar joints, was chosen to remove any requirement for future repointing or other maintenance.  Ibstock supplied specials, pre-cut off site, to reduce waste and improve finish quality at corners. Mimicking tile hanging, but without the associated dangers of wind and impact damage, the Tilebricks contributed to a Code Level 4 sustainability rating and 20% carbon saving, and presented a richness of texture and shadow that respected the historic setting and traditional domestic vernacular.