Project info

  • Architect: Amin Taha Architects
  • Completion Year: 2016
  • Location: Dalston, London N16

Syntegra roles: Energy and Sustainability consultants, CDM, M&E design and acoustic design.

Our project ‘Barretts Grove’, which we worked on with Amin Taha Architects, has been a winner at the Hackney Design Awards 2016, London & National RIBA 2017 awards and shortlisted for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize.

‘Barretts Grove’ is a new residential building slotted into a Victorian terrace in Dalston. It consists of six storeys of flats above ground plus well as a single storey basement flat. The three main structural materials used are left exposed as a design feature; the masonry exterior cladding, the interior cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and the reinforced concrete slabs in the basement.

The architect’s scheme was ‘to create a building with simple but creative materiality. For this reason, the structural materials were selected to facilitate their being exposed’.

With the masonry used as cladding and loadbearing walls in the basement, insulation could be wrapped around the structure and hidden, leaving the structure exposed inside.

Environmentally-friendly load-bearing Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) was chosen as a key feature of the structure, known as Spruce Apartments. CLT is a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel. The roof is also solid CLT panels, carefully balanced against each other to form the open loft space.

Insulation, a vapour barrier and self-supporting brick rain-screen make up the exterior thermal and protective elements.

Acoustic resilient layers and boards, insulation and a floating timber floor are built up above the floor to accommodate underfloor heating, power, data and hot/cold water pipes.

The fact the CLT acts as both structure and finish, exposed, removed the need for plasterboard walls, suspended ceilings, cornices, skirting boards and finishes such as tiling and paint, thus combining striking architectural design features with a reduced carbon footprint.


Our expert team of planning specialists, sustainability consultants and Chartered Engineers are here to help.

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