Forest Houses radically transform London brownfield plot

Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero are an architectural solution to a brownfield site transformation

Geometric boxes of Forest Houses in London by Dallas-Pierce Quintero
(Image credit: French + Tye)

Forest Houses represent, in some ways, a typical London housing story. On the site of a former builder’s yard in Newham’s Wanstead Flats, an eagle-eyed client saw the opportunity to transform the leafy, relatively generous plot into three design-led, new-build homes. Yet the clever design goes beyond making the most of the square footage available and offers a new architectural take to living on the edge of London, bridging the urban, suburban and rural. The architects, east London-based studio Dallas-Pierce-Quintero took on the commission and crafted a composition of contemporary residential architecture that is on one end linked to a row of terrace houses – respecting it and connecting to it – and on the other, opens up towards the greenery of the parkland. 

night view exterior among trees of Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

(Image credit: French + Tye)

The architecture studio, led by founders Jonathan Dallas, David Pierce, and Juliet Quintero, designed for the complex one brand-new three-bedroom family house, two new smaller two-bedroom houses, and an extra one-bed home that resulted from the remodelling and extension of a former end-of-terrace shop at the site's entrance. 

The brownfield plot has now been completely transformed through the team's smart approach of 'upside-down' living, where bedrooms are located in the 'quieter' ground level, while living spaces are placed above, maximising the vistas towards the leafy park. 

daytime street view of Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

(Image credit: French + Tye)

Linking Forest Houses to site and history

The site’s industrial past was referenced through materials and shapes, the architects explain: 'In a nod to the site’s light industrial history, the upper floors of each home feature a sawtooth roof profile, sensitively designed to mirror the height of the rear addition eaves of the adjacent dwellings and avoid the appearance of an overly dominating, bulky development.'

living area with big window inside Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

(Image credit: French + Tye)

The metal-clad tops and elegant brick bases of the buildings are locked together in a jigsaw-style arrangement that promotes a strong sense of unity across the whole, while also creating unexpected indoor and outdoor spaces and views. 

The materials not only ensure a distinct look for the volumes, but also secure a robust, long-lasting and easy-to-maintain palette. 

double height living space in Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

(Image credit: French + Tye)

‘Celebrating simplicity in materials and innovation in design and construction, the low-tech yet super-insulated project fuses traditional and modern methods of construction to create a truly sustainable and efficient-to-run home,’ the architects say. ‘This can be seen in the careful balance of glazing to insulation in the façade, which optimises thermal performance for residents, while an air-source heat pump enables low-cost, low-maintenance living.’

kitchen inside Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

(Image credit: French + Tye)

ground-floor bedroom inside Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

(Image credit: French + Tye)

aerial view of Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

(Image credit: French + Tye)

dusk view from the street of Forest Houses by Dallas-Pierce-Quintero

(Image credit: French + Tye)

d-p-q.uk

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).