Common Villa

Common Villa has been designed on a grid system that allows for an easy exchange between unit types without the need for complex structural and servicing solutions, this has been achieved by standardising room sizes so that they can be used in all unit types, neatly stack on top of one another and comply with minimum space standards.

As a result Common Villa can be simply, efficiently and cost-effectively constructed.

The standardisation of rooms means that the living areas comply with space standards of the largest unit – the smallest units therefore benefit from larger living spaces but at no additional cost due to the building efficiencies.

Each floor plate has four units with a central core that is semi external. The unit types can be varied depending on housing need, however, to limit the amount of external wall the unit types should be paired back-to-back.

To allow the villa to be located in a variety of situations it has been designed to be single aspect, however additional windows can be added depending on the context.


The central core has been standardised and accommodates an 8 person lift and a stair that wraps around the lift shaft. The space is unheated and is housed within a glazed structure to protect it from the elements, whilst allowing natural light in.

The apartments are accessed from either side of the core via an external deck that also houses the private amenity spaces to all four units. Following the same principle as the room sizes, the amenity spaces are all the same size and designed to meet the requirement of the largest apartment. The smaller units therefore benefit from a larger amenity space than is required but at no extra cost.

All units have been designed to be a minimum of Building Regulations Part M4 (2) compliant however due to the design of the units they can be easily adapted to be M4 (3) compliant.


With the use of efficient grid systems and standardised layouts, the construction of Common Villa is simple and efficient. Structure and service runs stack and the grid system has been designed to work with off-the-shelf structural products reducing the need for expensive bespoke solutions.

A modular repetitive layout means many of the components can be constructed off-site using lightweight modern methods of construction and assembled quickly once they arrive on site to reduce construction programmes and the amount of specialist trades on site.

Common Villa, seen here on the left at our Broadfields Estate development for Barnet Homes, provides a modular apartment building which can contain a mix of one- and two-bedroom homes around a central core. Visual by Darcstudio.