Wharf Road

Value: £65 million
Client: A2 Dominion, United House
Construction: 2013-2015

An interesting urban site on Wenlock Basin just off the Grand Union Canal in Hackney with a Housing Association client wanting mixed-tenure accommodation in 350 units and 80,000 sq. ft. of employment space and 80 parking spaces. The canal basin is edged by a veritable forest of fine mature trees and this decided the basic concept of this scheme: a series of landscaped courtyards facing the canal.

At each end of the long, thin site are listed, both good examples of detailed London stock-brick elevations. To keep in careful context with these buildings two ‘bookend’ brick blocks were proposed with window treatment to harmonise in proportion and scale with the older premises. Two main routes from the road to the canal are marked by contemporary elevations made from woven corten steel with its rusting finish. The new buildings are in scale with the neighbours in section up to five storeys – above that some accommodation is clad in oak, fancifully thought to evoke the history of the area’s warehouses and packing crates.

Sunday Times British Housing Awards best apartment building 2016.