Artful Ambiguity

architects Jaccaud Zein Architects
project Shepherdss Walk, London, United Kingdom
written by Daniel Rosbottom


This small-scale residential infill project of three houses and five apartments, by the uk / Swiss practice Jaccaud Zein, stands at the junction of two unassuming East London streets. Although configured as two buildings, the short terrace of houses facing onto Shepherdess Walk and the taller block of apartments around the corner on Wenlock Street read as an ensemble, brought together through the carefully composed restraint and subdued richness of their brick façades.


Almost unassuming themselves, they take their place comfortably amidst a variegated assortment of Georgian houses, post-war housing blocks and re-appropriated Victorian industrial buildings that define the particular character of the neighbourhood; marking the latest, small chapter in the shifting fortunes of this once poor edge of a great metropolis. Over the rooftops, the strident forms of new towers tell of the far more brutal process of transformation, happening around them.