Metashape handed approval for Harrow Road social housing

The practice said the structures on the site were of ‘poor’ architectural quality ‘being neither of local interest nor any particular aesthetic value’.

The studio hopes that at ‘least 95 per cent’ of the total materials specified in the proposed building will be recyclable at the end of their life. The scheme also aims to use ground granulate blast furnace slag (GGBS) within the columns of the building.

The £8 million project at the junction of Harrow Road and St John’s Terrace will create 15 flats for client Westminster Community Homes.

Work is expected to start on site in March next year and complete in late 2025.

Project data

Location 581-587 Harrow Road, Westminster W10 4SB
Local authority Westminster City Council
Type of project Residential, 100 per cent social housing
Client Westminster Community Homes
Architect Metashape Architects
Landscape architect Studio 413
Structural engineer Malcolm Brady Partnership
M&E consultant Irvineering
Quantity surveyor Philip Pank Partnership
Principal designer Philip Pank Partnership
Main contractor Awaiting tender outcome
Funding Westminster Council and GLA
Tender date July 2023
Start on site March 2024
Completion November 2025
Contract duration 18 months
Gross internal floor area 1,300m2 (14,000ft2)
Form of contract Design and build
Annual CO2 emissions 1,052 kgCO2e/m2 (GLA Benchmark 1,050 – 1,250 kgCO2e/m2)
Total cost £8 million


The emerging London-based practice was set up by former DLA Architecture architects Alex Giles and Ian Liptrot.

However, after a full pre-demolition audit, the firm hopes ‘as much of the existing building can be recycled’ as possible while a section of the original external wall will be retained and used within the new block.

The six-storey scheme will sit next to two Grade-II listed buildings – Kensal House and Church of St John the Evangelist – and replaces a mainly 19th-century building used as an MOT yard and tyre fitting business.

The proposal supersedes an earlier approved application – for the same housing association – for 25 flats, at the time earmarked to be leased at intermediate rent.