‘Micro-homes’ for the priced-out are unveiled in Clapton block

The proposed design for the renovated bedsits in Gooch House

The proposed design for the renovated bedsits in Gooch House - Credit: Archant

An architect has been appointed to renovate a number of ex-council bedsits that are too small to be used as social housing and would not meet government new build space standards.

Gooch House, E5

Gooch House, E5 - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council picked Surman Weston, a Dalston architecture practice, to work on the redesign of the 27m sq flats in Gooch House.

The 16 bedsits, part of the 80-unit Clapton block, were used as rented social housing but are currently unoccupied. They cannot be used as council housing because they are below the national minimum space requirement of 37m sq. The 64 remaining flats in the building are occupied by tenants.

Surman Weston’s design, which beat several other small architecture practices to be selected, includes an entrance, bed, shower cubicle, kitchen area and storage cupboards built into two walls, with windows along a third wall. The remaining central space is an open plan dining, living and entertaining space.

Percy Weston, of Surman Weston, said: “We wanted to create homes that are dignified even though they are small. We want to get away from the unsociable image of bedsits and create a flat where the residents could have people over.

Scale model of the proposed design for the 16 Gooch House bedsits

Scale model of the proposed design for the 16 Gooch House bedsits - Credit: Archant

“Our proposed design makes sure the flats have all the mod cons that you need in a modern flat but fitted into the smallest space possible so that there’s enough space left for flexible use.”

The renovated bedsits are planned for completion next year and will be available via Hackney Council to borough residents who are struggling to raise a deposit for a home in the area, with the proposed tenure and pricing yet to be decided.

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Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, said: “Hackney is building more social housing than anywhere else in London, but it’s also vital we provide more affordable options for people on low and middle incomes to rent and buy as prices spiral in our city.

“We’re already bringing empty homes back into use as council housing and temporary accommodation, but through our innovative designs at Gooch House we are revamping empty homes ourselves so we can give local working people the chance to get a foot on the housing ladder.”

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