GLA Small Sites housing architect - architects hand drawn sketch plans

Small Sites programme

Architecture for London have submitted a bid for one of the GLA’s ‘Small Sites’ in north London.

The Small Sites programme aims to make more publicly-owned sites available to developers and community-led organisations so they can contribute to the much needed new housing stock in London. The initial pilot releases ten sites owned by TfL, and the programme will be expanded with many more opportunities in the future.

View Architecture for London’s portfolio of recent projects.

Our scheme

Our submission was a six home scheme at Long Lane in the Borough of Barnet.

The proposal is for a co-housing development built to Passivhaus standards, this will be a first for co-housing in London.


The very low energy requirements of the Passivhaus standard will be met principally through the use of airtightness, high-performance insulation and MVHR. The MVHR system will have integrated air quality filtration. This system allows both particulate (up to 95% of PM10 and PM2.5 Particulate Matter) and gas filtration to provide clean, healthy air for the building’s occupants, despite its proximity to the North Circular. The highly insulated and airtight building fabric will also be an effective barrier for noise from the road.

The plan of the building has been organised so that bathrooms are located nearest the North Circular, whereas living rooms are generally on the quietest side of the building. Relevant acoustic testing will be carried out to determine if the site is at NEC noise category C. If so, balconies may become enclosed winter gardens so that the private outdoor spaces have acoustic separation.

The co-housing model enables straightforward implementation of a car share scheme. On-site parking is therefore not required as off-site parking issues are minimised. The scheme also provides for shared gardens that will be actively used by the small community, in addition to private terraces.

Shared internal spaces include a kitchen and dining room where meals can be cooked together on occasion.


The proposal seeks to retain the two category B small leaf lime trees at the front of the site to frame the main entrance to the building.

GLA Small Sites housing architect

Project architect: Ben Ridley

Location: Long Lane, Barnet, London N2

Visit the Architecture for London architecture of housing projects page to view more of our current projects.