Stock Orchard Street

We were developer, project manager and architect for this inner London live/work infill scheme. The backland site, tucked into the end of a cul-de-sac, was formerly occupied by a working forge and is the unpromising host to this innovative development.

Before that the site had been cattle pens serving Caledonian livestock market. Before that, it had been market gardens. We have returned it to a state in which multiple uses easily coexist: living, working, gardening, bicycle-mending, hen-keeping, pond-dipping.

Client: Jeremy Till and Sarah Wigglesworth
Construction cost: £600,000
Completion: 2001
Location: Islington, north London

2004 RIBA National Award
2004 RIBA Sustainability Award
2002 Civic Trust Award
2001 FX/Blueprint Award: Best Residential Project
2001 Royal Fine Art Commission Building of the Year (finalist)
Around and About Stock Orchard Street

Architectural Review

The Story of Buildings

Critical Architecture

Food + Architecture

Evening Standard


The Sunday Times

Gardens Illustrated

Garden Design: A Book of Ideas

Modern House Magazine


Live/work in the heart of the city

This exemplary mixed-use complex was designed by us and is occupied by our practice as well as being Sarah’s home. Our conference room doubles as a dining room. With home and office adjacent to one another, the walk to work is through a couple of doors. It represents an ecological, grounded and resilient way of life in the city.

“It is destined to become an icon, the subject of dissertations and copycat projects.”

World Architecture
A tactile celebration of materials

A palette of ordinary materials is transformed into innovative wallings and evocative claddings. Many, such as recycled concrete in the gabions, straw, railway sleepers and newspaper, are upcycled from other products. Others, such as the timber used throughout, store carbon.

We purposely combined low and high technologies. For each specific design challenge we chose the most effective solution – such as the wall of sandbags that reduces noise from the adjacent railway line. The buildings have instigated an ongoing debate about the use of resources and aesthetics in current architecture.

Keeping cool, keeping warm

Using passive design principles, a comfortable, low-energy live/work environment is created. The heavily insulated straw bale wall forms a warm blanket wrapped around the north elevations and bedroom wing. Planting keeps the south-facing glazed walls cool in summer but allows sun to penetrate in winter.

The library tower doubles as a ventilation shaft, drawing cool air through the house in summer. Opening windows provide plenty of natural ventilation, supplemented by a heat recovery system. The roof meadow helps to stabilise the temperature inside.

A tranquil retreat

Inside, a beautiful sequence of spaces alternately focus in, and then opens out. There are larger areas for entertaining and more enclosed, private spaces for each individual. Dappled daylight creates a peaceful atmosphere. Through the shared conference-dining room and into the office, life moves between a garden, the street, chattering trains and snug domesticity. The garden is the pivot of the work-life balance, and provides a calm place to take a break.


Photos by Paul Smoothy, Mark Hadden and Marianne Majerus