Orwell Housing Living Wall, Bury St Edmunds, 2008

Designed in collaboration with studiomgm for Orwell Housing, Living wall is a three storey block of twelve flats on the edge of a conservation area. Designed to meet the highest BREEAM Ecohomes standard, the building is an exemplar of sustainable design - combining timber construction, low technology M+E services and plant life to create a low energy, ecological building. Full height screens planted with a mixture of flowering, climbing plants give a strong identity and aesthetic to the building, and turn this ring-road corner into a place of delight.

The building is entirely timber; timber structure, cladding, and uses cellulose insulation. The flats all have a passive extract ventilation system, and a tempered air supply through a 40 metre long underground duct, taking fresh air from the rear, away from the road to the front. The whole building is heated using a single domestic size boiler. Each flat has its own external balcony space to the rear, and the flats are designed to have an open plan living space that allows east and west light into a roomy living space.


photography: Matt Smith, Tim Soar