Architect: Cox Bulleid

Crooked Billet Yard
London E2



Designed by the architects Cox Bulleid, this 3-bedroom live/work house with studio combines flexible accommodation with exceptional modern design. It is located in a small yard off Kingsland Road / Shoreditch High Street, on the border of the E2 and N1 postcodes.

The property is entered via a gated south-facing courtyard garden at the front, which has fragrant climbing plants on all sides – a green oasis in the heart of the city. This could be used for parking if required.

The ground floor contains a large open-plan studio with a kitchenette, which makes an ideal work space. The first floor, part of which is double-height, contains an open-plan kitchen and reception room, with access to a balcony. The second floor contains two bedrooms, one with access to another balcony, and a bathroom. On the top floor is the master bedroom, again with its own balcony (with fine views towards the City), and an en-suite shower room. All of the balconies face south.

The property was built in 2008. It has garnered much praise for its energy efficiency, and was named Best Eco Home at the Grand Designs Awards in 2009. It has been designed to make the most of its orientation. The front elevation is almost entirely glazed, with the remaining three sides wrapped in a layer of thermally efficient insulating render. Planted balconies prevent overheating during the summer and allow direct solar heating during the winter. The building is naturally ventilated and uses the stair as a simple stack effect to draw in fresh air during the summer months.

Crooked Billet Yard is conveniently located for the restaurants, bars and shops of Shoreditch and Hoxton Square. Columbia Road, with its famous flower market, is a short walk to the east; Spitalfields is to the south; and Old Street, Islington and Clerkenwell can be found to the west. Old Street station offers quick access to the West End via the Northern Line, and Overground services are available from Hoxton and Shoreditch High Street, with regular services to Canada Water.

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


Cox Bulleid Architects was established in 1999 by Tessa Cox and Oliver Bulleid. The house on Crooked Billet Yard was completed in 2008. The architects describe the project as follows:

“It explores the idea of greening the city through the use of vertical planting as screen, filter, shade and oxygenator to create a new ‘garden city’ typology integrating architecture, planting and landscape.

“The site is a complex urban backland area and the project creates its own context in such fragmented surroundings. The white insulated render skin establishes the main volume of building as a distinct new arrival and provides a framework for the large-scale glazed elements, the precisely engineered balcony structure and the top terrace enclosure.

Services and circulation are arranged vertically in a set-back slot aligning with the adjoining building to the east and provide an acoustic barrier to traffic noise from the main road. The top floor sets back from the north to allow a large glazed roof over the double-height dining area. All rooms have good natural-light levels and principal rooms face south with bolted-on steel decks providing planted balconies and privacy screens. On the top floor a combined planter, balustrade and sunshade encloses an external room with long views south to the City.

The building structure is a lightweight steel and timber frame with infill panels of blockwork manufactured using wood chips providing thermal and acoustic mass as well as bracing the main frame. Floors are finished with large birch plywood panels, as is much of the fit-out and furniture.”

Awards for the house on Crooked Billet Yard

2008 Hackney Design Award: Winner

2009 RIBA Awards: Shortlisted

2009 Grand Designs Awards: Winner, Best Eco Home

2009 British Homes Awards: Shortlisted, One-Off House of the Year

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