Grand Union Canal Walk Housing   London, UK

Grand Union Walk in Camden is an ingenious response to the need for housing on a tight, mixed-use site.


In this commission for Sainsbury's Grimshaw negotiated that residences should take the form of individual houses rather than a block of flats and the project includes 10 three-bedroom houses, a one-bedroom maisonette and a studio flat.

Located on a 10-metre-long strip of land parallel to the canal, carefully eked out by optimising lorry turning circles in the adjacent loading bay, the plot is bounded by a wall to the south to exclude vehicle noise.

The narrow site and the need to allow sunlight into living areas without south-facing windows dictated the distinctive form of the houses. At first-floor level, L-shaped open plan living spaces are top-lit; their double-height dining areas can act as external spaces, opening to a canal-facing balcony in summer months.

United by uniform building materials of dense concrete blockwork with precast concrete floors and felt-covered timber roofs, the houses are now recognised for their highly imaginative answer to an eclectic context.

These are the houses of a new age.

Martin Pawley, Guardian

It’s contemporary and incredibly practical. It suits the way we live and we love it.

Julia Hollis, Resident, Grand Union Walk

London, UK

Project Type
Living →

J Sainsbury plc

10,500 sq m



Jo Reid & John Peck