Peter Salter is the ‘architect’s architect’, revered for his work as a lecturer and for his experimental, carefully crafted designs. But until recently, he’d never completed a project in the UK.
Fitting then that his first British housing complex, dubbed Walmer Yard, should rip up the rule book on English housing. Its interconnected design – featured on The Spaces in 2016 – sees a cluster of four finely crafted houses wrap around an internal courtyard in London’s Notting Hill. Now the building is being opened up to paying guests, allowing architecture lovers to experience living in these extraordinary homes.
The multi-generational London property has just become available to rent via Urlaubsarchitektur, with price on application. From the road, the concrete structure is inconspicuous: it’s only when you step inside the private grounds that the building reveals its unorthodox design.
Salter has crafted the homes to be distinct, but each unfurls as a ‘spatial sequence’ of unconventional rooms, featuring rounded walls and organic shapes. The houses are capped by yurt-like living and dining rooms clad in Cornish clay.
Other tactile touches come via copper and wooden shingles and curving staircases with leather handrails.
A radical take on close living, Walmer Yard was put on the market for £22m last year but its developer and owner, Crispin Kelly, is now establishing Walmer Yard as a charitable foundation. Appealing to architects and creatives from the design world, the foundation aims to deepen ‘the public understanding of experiencing architecture’ through experimental collective living.