Axe Street


Jef Smith was the lead architect during his time at Jestico + Whiles on this residential development of 93 affordable dwellings, in a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats and maisonettes, for East Thames which forms a key part of Barking town center regeneration.

Conceptually the building is composed as an interaction of sculpted mass and folding plane. The forms enclose a communal courtyard and invite a second one to be completed when the adjacent road realignment is realised. Stepping from three to six storeys high the building mediates between the domestic and civic scales and enhances connections between the town centre and surrounding residential areas. Expressing the elements of mass and plane, brick and copper where chosen as the principle cladding materials. The vertical standing seams of the copper contrasting with the rough-textured horizontality of the buff brickwork and recessed terrace areas in coloured render.

All dwellings were designed to Lifetime Homes Standards and achieved the required Eco homes rating of ‘Very Good’ with 10% on site renewable energy generation coming from solar thermal panels.



East Thames


October 2008