|Address:||Honor Oak Park, SE23 Lewisham|
|Work Type:||new built|
|Number of Storeys:||2-storey|
|Type of Building:||single-detached|
|Number of Units:||14 / 13|
The thirteen buildings in the London borough of Lewisham were the second phase of self-built houses to be overseen by Walter Segal in that area. They represent a refined version of the building system developed by Segal and Broome in order to increase the choice open to individual self-builders not only during the initial building process but also in the future. The system was designed to empower self-builders to take control of both the design and construction of their homes, and was seen as a direct antithesis to the mass housing schemes that had been developed in the public sector, with their repetitive and inflexible designs which gave the dwellers no control over their own environment.The self-builders were selected from a list of families interested in building their own houses. Upon joining the scheme they were supplied with very basic plans and sections and a typewritten specification that described the sequence of construction. They could then adapt the layouts to their own purpose. The main elements of flexibility within the Segal system are lightweight dry and demountable construction system with a modular frame that accepts standard panel sizes. Adaptations and improvisation are possible within a set of precise rules: the overall dimensions are given (a multiple of the underlying 65 cm grid), and the location of the service and circulation core is set together with the position of the twelve structural members. Whilst the exterior of the buildings is relatively uniform, no two floor plans are the same. Ground floor plans show variations show how kitchen, dining and living room may either be separated or combined into one large space, some plans have a bedroom downstairs, and first floor plans variations in number of rooms and range of sizes for bedrooms. Because the self-builders know the building inside out through having been part in the construction process and because of the readily accessible building materials and simple construction, adaptations and extensions to the building can be easily accomplished, as indeed has happened over time.
Ellis, C., 'Do-it-yourself vernacular', Architects' Journal, 172, 1980, pp. 1185-205.
Ellis, C., 'Self-Build Selection', Architects' Journal, 179, 1984, pp. 36-39.
McKean, J., Learning from Segal : Walter Segal's Life, Work and Influence ed. by Schilling, R., Architektur im Zusammenhang, Basel: Birkhäuser, 1989.