MOCT Studio-designed ‘3 x 5 House’ starts onsite

Bespoke architecture and design practice MOCT Studio has commenced work on its 3 x 5 House project, which received planning permission last year. The name of the project refers to the dimensions of the house in Voss Street, east London. MOCT Studio are providing a full range of architectural services to transform the former garage site into a 40 m2

home for the client.

The project is the latest in a string of renovations down the cobbled mews which traditionally occupied lock-up garages for market traders. The house has been designed with a “deliberate lack of hierarchy”, which means the living spaces can be used flexibly. The areas within the building were designed to intersect in order to allow activity and light to pass through on into each other. The three-storey house challenges the constraints of the narrow site by stacking

areas against the rear wall. The available daylight will be maximised from the north facade through a double skin veil of translucent polycarbonate. An open kitchen occupies the lower ground floor, while a mezzanine-like raised ground floor contains a bathroom and living space. The top floor comprises a bedroom and balcony that overlooks the mews.

A perforated metal stair connects the levels and acts as a light shaft. Chris Thorn, director at MOCT Studio commented: “For the first time the Draft New London Plan makes specific reference to small site, infill developments recognising the contribution these can make in delivering new homes for London.

We know that higher densities lead to higher land prices and in turn higher purchase prices. Rather than contributing to this problem, the project shows that small highly constrained sites, previously thought unbuildable, can be usurped by taking a creative and ambitious architectural approach.” Mo Wong, also a director at MOCT Studio added: “Limited space and a constrained site meant that clear concepts were established at the outset of the project. These pose questions about contemporary urban living, the fabric of urban infill sites and our open, sometimes veiled, relationship to the street.”


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Homeowners improving their properties have been warned to check building contractors’ credentials after it was revealed up to half of the UK’s contractors may be underinsured. Experts at Construction Insure claimed that around half of all UK contracting firms, including builders, plumbers, roofers and electricians do not have adequate insurance in place to cover their work. The company say the use of price comparison websites for insurance services has led to an “epidemic of under insurance” across the construction sector. The firm warned that the use of insurance comparison websites had often led to the purchase of an inadequate policy, putting homeowners at risk of liability if things go wrong. In some cases, said Construction Insure, this could lead to the homeowner losing all their investment. Mark Herbert of Construction Insure commented: “Homeowners need to inspect insurance documents from prospective builders before agreeing to quotes and going ahead with works. Failure to do so could have disastrous consequences. We estimate around 50 per cent of all UK contractors do not have adequate insurance in place.” He said there is a legal requirement for contractors to make

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sure they are insured by giving their insurance company full disclosure on the nature of the work they’re undertaking. He also advised homeowners to check builders’ insurance policies and check the small print to make sure all aspects are covered. Explaining further the contractor’s responsibilities, he said: “The insurer needs to know everything about each project – from all planned work to the staff employed to carry it out. They need to know about all work subcontracted out to companies or if labour-only subcontractors are used.”

may/june 2018

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