Wienerberger’s Marziale brick has been used on a new-build housing block in Peabody’s Whitechapel Estate.
Located on Peabody’s Whitechapel Estate in East London, Darbishire Place completes an ensemble of six housing blocks surrounding an internal courtyard; replacing the original block which was destroyed during World War II. The overall scheme consists of 13 new one-, two-, three-, and four-bed units, 54% of which are classed as affordable. The new addition continues the architectural theme of ‘open corners’, promoting easy pedestrian access and views between the courtyard and the surrounding streets whilst providing a fresh and crisp aesthetic to the wider development.
Working to a typical Peabody Affordable Housing budget challenged the architects to utilise cost-effective and high quality products that would deliver good results in a short timeframe. They chose Wienerberger’s Marziale brick to help achieve this, a product which gives a classic look enriched by aesthetic variation in colour and texture — a choice which works in cohesion with the existing buildings in the development.
While the estate is not located in a conservation area, the Conservation Officer took a particular interest due to the significance of the surrounding Peabody housing blocks. The existing blocks reach five stories, with repetitive window patterns reflecting their internal layout. The openings are formed with brick reveals painted in white, adding to the buildings’ unique Italianate character. Wienerberger’s clay brick was in keeping, allowing the designers to give respectful reference to the surrounding buildings through the contrast between the external brick skin and other aesthetics such as the deep window reveals repeated and accentuated throughout the building.
The Marziale brick’s design gives the impression of a weathered, traditional building material whilst also benefiting from clay’s natural durability, longevity, and low maintenance. Speaking about the project, Richard Brown, Wall Category Marketing Manager at Wienerberger, said: “Seeing our products used in affordable housing projects like Darbishire Place really drives home what we want to achieve at Wienerberger. We know the country is facing issues with housing and some of that comes down to material choice, picking an option that is quick but only solves the issue short-term as opposed to a more long term solution. With Marziale, not only are we seeing its striking aesthetic in situ, Peabody and the residents will also feel the benefit of using high quality clay products.”