Walters Way & Segal Close

  • Benji Roebuck

Walters Way & Segal Close are two roads in South East London that contain twenty unusual homes, not only in the way they look but in the way they were conceived and built. The original buildings were designed by Modernist architect Walter Segal, part of a local council-run scheme that enabled ordinary people to build their own homes in the early 1980s. Though the original plots are still in use, many of the buildings have been adapted or modified to meet the needs of today’s residents. The book I designed for journalist Alice Grahame and photographer Taran Wilkhu (two WW/SC residents) outlines the characteristics of the Segal houses and documents how they were designed and built. The main section of the book however gives insight into what life is like on the two streets today, featuring photography and interviews with residents, including some of the original self-builders. The majority of the Segal houses have distinctive gridded walls, holding interior and exterior boards in place that encouraged residents to modify their houses without having to attempt serious building work. I used the same grid throughout the book as a structural device for text and image, just as the wooden braces support walls and roofs in the houses themselves. Walters Way & Segal Close is published by Park Books.