Planning permission for complex design of flats and offices

Planning permission was obtained in October 2015 after a very long process of negotiation with Lewisham Planning over this difficult site. Hemmed in by neighbouring buildings and facing a major rail line, Chassay Studio developed a sophisticated design to provide 29 new flats and 29,000sq.ft of new office space.


October 2015 marks the first anniversary of the Zen Centre refurbishment

A careful refurbishment and extension of The Zen Centre in St Johns Wood was completed one year ago in 2014. Lovely photographs of the building in use were taken by Kilian O'Sullivan in the spring.


The Annie McCall wins the 'Regeneration' award

Chassay Studio's design for the refurbishment and extension of the Annie McCall in Jeffrey's Road, Lambeth won the award for Regeneration in the International Design & Architecture Awards in September 2015.


Planning permission for new flats off Garratt Lane

Chassay Studio obtained planning permission for 8 new flats tucked into a tight site behind Garratt Lane in Earslfield. A neighbouring listed building and a lot of other site constraints made this a difficult site to develop, but these constraints proved to be opportunities for a creative design which was unanimously approved in September 2015. An attractive garden design was an important part of the proposal.


Googlemaps now show the complex geometry of our Blackbird Hill development

The aerial views of Blackbird Hill, Brent now show the emerging development on the site of the old Blarneystone Pub. With clever use of levels and some quite complex geometry, we were able to replace this redundant pub with 32 flats, 2 houses, underground parking and a 'metro' supermarket.


The Abbey Point cafe gets permission for a complete makeover

Abbey Point Cafe & Hotel is so successful that it needs to expand. Chassay Studio found a way of adding extra rooms and extra parking, while refurbishing the entire building so that it looks like a completely new design.


Piano Yard highly commended

Chassay Studio were proud to be highly commended for the Piano Yard, Highgate Road development at the Camden Design Awards. The design was praised for the clever way it integrates residential and office space within a constrained mews space, while maintaining privacy and delight.


Planning permission for new flats in Westbourne Park

A great new development of flats won planning consent in June 2015, replacing a low-rise redundant surgery with a stylish 5-storey block.


The Old Pumphouse, Wolcot, Swindon

Planning permission was won at appeal for a unique new house on Walcot Road, Swindon in April 2015. This site had suffered repeated refusals of permission for a previous developer, and had fundamental problems with access and location. We took a fresh approach, designing a highly eco-friendly house which preserved wildlife habitat by being self-contained, like a pebble dropped on a lawn. While this was not enough to win over the borough planners, the appeal officer approved the development on the basis of its special quality, described as innovate and individual.


Evening Standard Awards

Chassay Studio are proud to have designed two schemes which won both the Best Small Development awards at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards- March 2015.

Piano Yard in Kentish Town was the winner of Best Small Development among small-scale developers, The Annie McCall in Lambeth was the winner of Best Small Development among larger-scale developers.


Planning permission for new family houses

Planning permission was obtained in January 2014 for new family houses at two sites in south London. Hindmans Road in Dulwich is an attractive scheme of four modern houses, with an innovative design for a house in the centre of the site, where split levels are used in both the house and garden to give two stories of accommodation in building of modest external appearance.

Colistion Passage in Wandworth uses a more traditional design on a very constrained site, while integrating all the latest requirements to meet the 'green' agenda

artist's impressions by John Keane


Planning permission for new family houses

Planning permission was obtained in December 2013 for a row of new family houses in Raynes Park, on a site formerly used for lock-up garages. The innovative design keeps the character of traditional terrace housing while integrating all the latest requirements to meet the 'green' agenda

artist's impressions by John Keane

Cross-Laminated Timber construction

under way at Highgate Road — fast, clean and precise.
May 2013

Permission for unique development at Neckinger Mills, Bermondsey

Planning permission recently won

Chassay Studio has won planning for a mixed-use courtyard scheme behind the grade II listed Neckinger Mills near London Bridge.

The design was developed by a long process of consultation with residents of the existing Mills building, and with Southwark Planning.

Neckinger Mills is a unique community of work studios and loft apartments in a handsom grade II listed Victorian mill building. In the grounds a decrepit storage shed is to be replaced by a small new building with high quality living and work units. Like the existing units in the Mills building, they are characterized by large living spaces with good ceiling heights and large windows. The thoughtful layout of spaces in three dimensions will make a good neighbour to the surrounding buildings, allows each flat a generous roof terrace, and will greatly enhance the setting of the existing building.

The character of the new flats internally and externally represent an organic development of the unique community at Neckinger Mills.

14 February 2013

First Look: Mixed-use courtyard scheme, Highgate Road, north London by Chassay Studio

As featured in Building Design magazine

Chassay Studio has won planning for a mixed-use courtyard scheme on Highgate Road in north London.

Following the urban grain of a group Victorian workshops on this tight urban site, the development comprises seven flats, two houses and 700sq m of offices, arranged around a courtyard garden for use of the residents. The form of the project was inspired by the open galleries of old houses in New Orleans, with lacy ornate balustrades and lush planting.

The key aim of the design was to make the largest possible living areas. Every home is entered directly from the courtyard, the front door opening into an open-plan living space, with big windows on both sides.

Despite the restricted space, all homes are dual aspect, taking advantage of existing rights-of-light over neighbouring gardens with careful control of overlooking to maintain privacy. The com-mercial space is also dual aspect, the outlook controlled on both sides to protect the new homes.

The office entrance is near the site entrance, separated from the residential areas. All utility functions of the site are concentrated in a service bay at the same point, an arrangement which is flexible and accessible, but out of sight.

All the buildings will be prefabricated using panels of solid cross-laminated timber. These provide a 20% reduction in the overall construction time and suit the complex spaces needed to make this scheme work. The project is scheduled to start on site in August.

27 April 2012

Life class: Tchaik Chassay

As featured in Building Design magazine

What got you started?

When I was seven, my mother and I lodged with a Russian architect who had worked with Lubetkin. Wandering into his studio at the bottom of the garden, I fell in love with the paraphernalia of an architect’s office. Models, drawing boards, tracing paper — I can smell it to this day.

Who was your most inspiring tutor?

I missed tutorials.

Which architect have you learned the most from?

Ted Cullinan — I worked with him for many years. He taught me how to sketch ideas.

Which living architect do you most admire?

Peter Zumthor.

What project would you most have liked to have done?

Palestra by Will Alsop, a brilliant commercial building.

What part of the design process do you most enjoy?

Coming up with ideas.

What is your Achilles’ heel?

Coming up with ideas too late.

Which house would you most like to live in?

My own, without books.

What is your favourite city?

Tbilisi — the Paris of the east — mixes Ottoman, art nouveau and Stalinist classicism.

What building would you most like to see demolished?

Bridge House, the green flats by Vauxhall Bridge.

What is your most important working relationship?

When I work with my interior designer wife, Melissa North.

What one piece of legislation would you introduce?

Too often architects do not get to see their designs through after planning. Incentives need to be applied to see that the design intention is fully realised. The mechanisms already exist in respect to sustainability.

What would be your dream commission?

A parliament for a newly emerging democracy.

What is your favourite architectural film?

My Architect — Louis Kahn’s son finds out about his father. The builders of the Bangladesh parliament loved their architect. It made me weep.

What have you sacrificed for your career?

Longer holidays with my children.

Is it getting easier?

Yes and more fun.

26 April 2012

New plans for old petrol station

Planning Permission was granted on 14 March 2012 for 32 new flats and two houses on the site of an old petrol service station on Forty Avenue, Wembley. This proposal will make best use of a redundant and neglected petrol station site to provide a wide variety of much needed homes, and heals a hole in a residential neighbourhood. The distinctive contemporary design will reinforce the townscape, as a creative development of the existing building scales and materials, and will add to the sense of identity in the area.

Designing a good restaurant is more than just good looks

Sound in restaurants is important and the theory goes like this:
In noisy restaurants people compete to be heard. They speak louder and inhale more oxygen, expanding their lungs. This makes them thirsty so they drink more and the alcohol give confidence to speak even louder. The general sound level goes up as everyone shouts to be heard and the noise level peaks in crescendos. Such is the case with Kensington Place where the big glass wall reflects the sound back at the customers. Also at noisy pubs where it may be better if what you are saying is not fully understood as a braying of laughter will follow before the sentence is before it is finished anyway.

A lively atmosphere was the reason for the early success of the Italian Terrazzo’s with their tiled floors that contrasted with the carpeted, upholstered establishments where everyone whispers and when not full you can hear the conversation across the room. You would not want to be an early customer in a hotel dining room or Angus Steak House and even when full the atmosphere is sombre.
Louder restaurants also give more privacy – you can’t hear what they are saying at the next table so you can push the tables closer together, packing more people into the room and making it more like a good party. Proximity leads to more chance eye contact, more flirting and more fun.
Getting the balance right is an important to a successful restaurant.

Tchaik Chassay, March 2008