Our design for Meritas Court in Salem Road responds sensitively to its urban and conservation area location, replacing an empty warehouse, formerly used by Bonhams Auctioneers, with 15 luxury apartments, ranging in size from 42 sq m to 200 sq m.
Due to the proximity of the adjacent buildings, the design team had to navigate complex rights to light, privacy and party wall constraints. The height, massing and form, which include crisp facades and light wells, are therefore designed to improve the sunlight and daylight enjoyed by adjoining properties and the new tenants.
To safeguard privacy and outlook, an introverted aspect has been adopted for the design of the apartments and light and shade have been manipulated cleverly. Techniques such as positioning windows perpendicular to facing buildings and vision-obscuring prismatic glass have also been used.
Traditional materials have been detailed in a contemporary way, mindful of the characteristics of the conservation area. We took our inspiration from the light stucco buildings in the local area to create, using limestone and pastel buff-coloured brickwork.
The landscape design builds on a theme of tranquility, incorporating the existing cloisters entrance. It also enhances the building’s relationship with its immediate neighbours, creating garden areas with high quality hard landscaping between neighbouring properties and the scheme.
The scheme is further enhanced with a green roof, planted with sedum, which improves the visual amenity from the surrounding, higher neighbouring properties and enhances biodiversity. A basement servicing strategy with secret gutters and down-pipes minimises noise and negative visual impact.
The end result is a sophisticated, private and secure environment that creates a pleasant living environment for the new residents, while safeguarding and improving quality of life for existing residents.