Custom House Kickstart

Custom House Kickstart



Planning Application Link    View map

Number/street name:
Plot 1A, William Paton, Leslie Road; Plot 1B, 20-22 Freemasons Road

Address line 2:



Adam Khan Architects

Haworth Tompkins

East architecture

Architect contact number:

LB Newham.

Planning Authority:
London Borough Newham

Planning consultant:

Planning Reference:

Date of Completion:

Schedule of Accommodation:
36 x 1B2P; 18 x 2b4p; 39 x 3Bed; 2 x 4 Bed

Tenure Mix:
100% Affordable

Total number of homes:

Site size (hectares):

Net Density (homes per hectare):

Size of principal unit (sq m):

Smallest Unit (sq m):

Largest unit (sq m):

No of parking spaces:
Car Free development 6no of blue badge parking spaces

Scheme PDF Download

Planning History

Adam Khan Architects lead East and Haworth Tompkins, in a Community Coproduction masterplan for Custom House. Two plots within the masterplan, 1A and 1B were identified as the first phase and are referred to as the Kickstart Sites. In 2020 Cabinet approved the delivery of these Kickstart Sites within the New Homes for Newham Programme. Subsequently, LBN appointed the contractor and design team to develop the design. The planning process included in depth consultation with the local planning authority though a PPPA, quality design review panel as well as extensive community Co-production. The scheme received unanimous support at committee.

The Design Process

Custom House is a collaboration between Adam Khan Architects, Haworth Tompkins and East, and provides 95 affordable homes, commercial space, community growing, communal gardens and high-quality accessible public realm.
The scheme consists of 3 mansion blocks, ranging in height from 4 to 8 stories, each with strong figurative qualities. Designed to Passivhaus standards, they are efficient in their massing and allow 98% of homes to be double-aspect. The brick buildings are tectonic in their expression with refined detail and craftsmanship in civic moments.
Plot 1B fronts onto Freemasons Road and provides new activation with commercial space at ground and a generous public realm; this provides the first phase of a future high street. Both building and public realm have been designed around the retention of much-loved mature trees lining the high street. An open entrance with views though to the communal garden is located to the south also facilitates a shared entrance with the future phase.
Plot 1A is located within the existing neighbourhood and is arranged around a new garden, growing space and existing trees. The pair of buildings, 7 and 8 storeys in height, create a new frontage along Leslie Road and the reinstated Chauntler Road. The improved street network is activated with front gardens, maisonette entrances, balconies and well-defined communal entrances. Together the buildings form a south facing Neighbourhood Square including publicly accessible play.
Civic qualities run through the project at all scales; the south facing Neighbourhood Square and high street provides publically accessible play. Dual-aspect lobbies give views from the street to the gardens. Ground floor homes and entrances are carefully detailed to give a sense of ownership and protection whilst contributing to the neighbourhood. Well considered and varied balcony configurations further animate the street.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

Meaningful engagement was a key project objective, which was fully integrated across the Kickstart Sites and the masterplan. Refurbishing a high-street shop to create ‘The Custom House Project Hub’ provided accessible space for a meaningful engagement and ensured a local and continual presence. Up-skilling workshops were held early to empower informed critique and the use of large models, and a lamp easily show the effects of massing studies on daylight & sunlight. The hub facilitated regular resident steering group meetings and remained open for residents to view design progress. Consequently, the community priorities are successfully embedded within in the Project.

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Scheme Information


  • Multi-Aspect Apartments
  • Maisonettes
  • Mansion Block


  • Medium density


  • Council
  • Low Management Charges


  • Urban Infill
  • Urban Regeneration


  • Brickwork
  • Contemporary Design


  • Embodied energy in construction
  • Building energy in use (any target above Regs)
  • Biodiversity (eg Building with Nature)
  • Car usage or Active Travel (inc Building for a Healthy Life)

Outdoor areas

  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Healthy Streets
  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Play Spaces
  • Public open space


  • Wheelchair


LBN have ambitions to achieve Passivhaus standards within the Kickstart Site scheme to deliver Newham’s Passivhaus vision to create climate-resilient and low-carbon affordable housing developments. This is being delivered through the Affordable Homes for Newham: Low energy design strategy (2019) guidance, which advocates Passivhaus principles to be adopted for affordable housing. To meet Passivhaus requirements, the project has been designed to not exceed 15 kWh/m²/year space heating demanded. Key to this has been to adopt a low tech and robust approach to design. The careful design of the massing reduces its overall form factor, achieving an average of 1.5, is an efficient method to reduce the overall heat loss of the building. In addition, the design and control of the window glazing percentage provides a passive approach to overheating and cooling, south facades are between 15-20% glazing area and north, east, west, facades are reduced to 10-15% glazing area. MVHR units are integrated within the kitchen run, ensuring that MVHR unit is against external façade of building is successful in reducing duct run length to below 2m and significantly reducing heat loss/ gain, achieving a heat recovery efficiency of 82%. A communal bank of air source heat pumps is located at roof level; heat is distributed to each flat via a loop flowing at an ambient temperature. As there is little difference in the temperature of the loop and the surrounding air, there is little heat loss, and the system does not contribute to overheating in communal areas. Within each dwelling, a heat pump unit uses electricity to upgrade the heat from the communal ambient loop to a higher temperature – typically 45ºC for space heating and 60ºC for hot water. Hot water is stored in an individual hot water tank in each flat.