WALMER YARD HOLLAND PARK
Smaller private developers’ efforts recognised by RIBA include those of Crispin Kelly. Trained as an architect, Kelly (baylight.co.uk) has for 30 years developed influential, quirky commercial and residential schemes both large and small, each showing a commitment to architectural experimentation.
Walmer Yard is four interlocking houses on a former industrial site in salubrious Holland Park. It is designed by three architects — Peter Salter and Associates, Mole Architects and John Comparelli Architects. Salter, who led the team, is an architectural designer and teacher and the experimental scheme has been no less than seven years in the making — which speaks volumes for the creative commitment involved.
Its exposed concrete interiors and eclectic mix of materials and bold colours are highly unlikely to be copied by housebuilders, but maybe it is possible to detect in its determined individuality some future trends. For example, the need for closer communal living in the inner city, more shared communal spaces, and the need to express individuality despite proximity — something which Tokyo seems to do better than London.
And there is a robustness in the scheme’s materials which looks longlasting and characterful. This is not an anonymous replicant derived from other developments. Point