Vassall Road, South London
Brixton’s Vassall Road in South London is the location of a new Housing and Healthcare Centre designed by Tony Fretton Architects. The development provides a doctor’s surgery on the ground floor with two 2-bedroom flats and seven 2-bedroom maisonettes on the floors above. The building is similar in height to the adjacent estate and the scale and form of the windows is derived from the villas and terraced houses in the area in order to integrate with its surroundings.
A key feature of the design is the dark brick skin of the front elevation, with handmade bricks especially treated with a black colourwash from KEIM Mineral Paints to simulate the aged quality of the brickwork in the adjacent villas.
KEIM Restauro Lasur is a low pigmentation colourwash which also provides a longlife protective finish. The Lasur treatment is available in a wide range of shades which can be used successfully where an opaque treatment would be out of keeping with the brickwork aesthetics. Its longlife characteristics result from the chemical crystalline bond which the paint forms with the substrate, maintaining breathability whilst withstanding exposure to severe weather conditions. It is resistant to algae and mould growth, completely light fast, inherently non-combustible and environmentally friendly being odourless, solvent free, low VOC and produced using only natural inorganic materials. It is a part of the complete KEIM Restauro stone and brick repair and restoration system and has been used on a number of historical restoration projects overseen by English Heritage and the National Trust.
The building makes an impressive statement amongst the mix of late Regency and 1960’s housing, lined with mature trees. A major consideration of the design was to minimise the sense of enclosure by existing flats and to provide a better outlook with a wide planted pavement. It is a building which connects with its surroundings whilst presenting an open environment to encourage community living.