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The making of Mapleton Crescent

20 Nov 2019

Designed by architecture and urbanism practice Metropolitan Workshop, the 27-storey ceramic clad tower in Wandsworth, London, is the tallest private sale modular residential tower in Europe. 

Metropolitan Workshop won planning consent to build on an awkward and constrained 400sqm triangular site in Wandsworth, for affordable housing developers Pocket Living's largest scheme to-date.

The residential building was completed in 2018 and is clad in three different profiles of teal terracotta: ribbed, pleated and microribbed. The layering of recessed pleated tiles in each typical bay gives a sense of depth and texture, and the cladding grid is aligned with the structural grid to avoid clumsy extrusions.


Terracotta is an ideal material for cladding as it wears extremely well and does not fade, ensuring the green colour will remain strong in perpetuity and that minimal maintenance is required.

Metropolitan Workshop collaborated with local artist and ceramicist Loraine Rutt, experimenting with the making process and qualities of the material and glaze. A tea set was created by Loraine as a starting point of conversation for the unique glaze of the ceramic façade with Pocket Living.

German cladding manufacturer NBK Terracotta worked on the project with Loraine and Metropolitan Workshop, to translate the studio-based technique to large scale cladding panels. The 27-storey tower has an elegantly slender profile and a measured balance of verticals and horizontals reminiscent of Art Deco qualities.

The project was awarded a RIBA London and RIBA National 2019 Award and sets a precedent for design-led quality off-site housing.

Mapleton Crescent is featured in Hand Held To Super Scale, an exhibition and associated public programme curated by the Building Centre exhibitions team and Fettle Studio. Supported by the Built Environment Trust.


 We would like to thank our headline sponsor Boston Valley Terra Cotta and our exhibition supporters ArupDarwen TerracottaNBK Terracotta and Szerelmey.

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