Founded as a medieval monastery, the Charterhouse was a school and almshouses before its series of collegiate-like quadrangles evolved into sheltered housing.

Discussions regarding materials and massing were held with English Heritage early in the design process. The new buildings, on a World War II bomb-site, re-create a right angle in the southwestern corner of the early 19th century Preacher’s Court, strengthening the collegiate character of the space. The larger building, with 12 flats on three floors, conceals a zigzag wall and the untidy backs of buildings along St John’s Street. The smaller building, with two flats above a small library, is free-standing and arcaded all round.

The walls are of solid, load-bearing, English bond brick; their openings, including the arcades, are genuine flat arches, while the ground floor perimeter wall behind the arches are non-load bearing, with softwood frames and oak panelling. This panelling continues, but is painted, in the interior of the living and bedrooms.

Using traditional materials and urban forms with great precision creates a quiet, secure haven for the Brothers who live there.


  • Location London, United Kingdom
  • Value £2.4 million
  • Size 1,030 m²
  • Client The Governors of Sutton's Hospital in Charterhouse
  • Year 2000