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54 Cambria Road

Self build conversion of 19C terrace: reorganised living spaces, reclaimed materials, natural insulation, solar thermal and PV, biofuel heating, vegetable growing, bees, hens.


Smith, Baraitser (conversion)



54 Cambria Road SE5 9AS

Sat 10am-5pm. Last entry 5pm. Max 15 at one time. Informal discussion around eco conversion of 19C housing stock.


Loughborough Junction

P4, 35, 45, 176, 345

  • Green features
  • Partial disabled
  • Toilets available

54 CAMBRIA ROAD 54 Cambria Road is an end-of-terrace house converted into a carbon neutral home-work space. Designed by artist Grant Smith and his family, and self-built in partnership with carpenter-builder Kersley Virasammy, the project inverted the living/ sleeping areas, constructing a large double height shared living space at first floor level and reassigning the ground floor rooms as children’s sleep/play/study and utility areas. The build used reclaimed timber, cladding and fixtures, and natural insulation, retaining the look of the street frontage and introducing contemporary elements at the back. Key parts of the project include: a newly designed and constructed dormer to create a south-facing slope for solar thermal panels; a 4kW photovoltaic solar array; ‘half-loft’ studio; heating with wood diverted from landfill; bay roof modified as a green roof planter; inner city garden with vegetable beds, fruit trees, bantams and beehives. There are plans to build a new studio on the adjacent half-plot in 2013, while the existing building will continue to evolve. This is a good time to review a series of fairly simple and affordable but decisive interventions on a ‘typical’ Victorian house aimed at reconfiguring it for contemporary uses and overhauling its environmental performance. The building houses installation work by the artist collective self-noise. Grant Smith will run a workshop for children building nesting boxes for birds from recycled wood.