WHAT architecture - London

Columnar Towers

Two towers on the edge of Shoreditch Park
Scale14500 sqm
LocationColville Estate, Hackney, London
ClientLondon Borough of Hackney with Hackney Homes as Registered Provider
Budget€ 30000000
Design Year2012

A joint venture involving NL Architects of Amsterdam and WHAT_architecture of London!

This proposal for two towers connects and binds together the existing and future urban fabric. The stepped building form relates to various existing building heights. If one takes the elevator to the 10th floor of Harwood Court the panorama viewed shows a 'stepping stone' urbanism: where 2 storey canal side buildings, which in turn step up to the 5 and 8 storeys of Bridport House, the 11 storeys of Parr Cour the 12 and 14 storeys of Gainsborough Studios up to the 19 storeys of the De Beauvoir Estate...

The number of flats per floor was optimised at seven. Each tower has the biggest floor plan possible yet each floor plan in identical and can fit on the irregular site footprint, allowing us to concentrate our energies on perfecting one floor plan. Each tower footprint has been rotated 90 relative to each other. This rotation avoids visual repetition and creates individual and distintive forms, from whichever way they are viewed creating a sence of place, and identificalbe location. Each apartment forms its own tower. The stepped morphology helps integrate the building mass into the surrounding urban fabric as the massing of the two towers is reduced into two bundles of seven smaller towers.

The stepped morphology presents a different image of high rise living from that presented by the repetitive blog aesthetic of the modernist social project. This proposal seeks to reconcile the interests of the city with that of the individual. Housing that is both high density as well as high quality. The stepped terraces wil be occupied by various types of garden. The public realm between the towers is open so access from the park directly to the new interior street of the master plan is now possible.


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