Colville Estate Phase 3

Karakusevic Carson Architects

Hackney Council

London Borough Hackney

Units and density: 
198 homes, 225 sqm café, 440 dph, 1080 hrh

100% market sale for estate-wide cross subsidy

Completed 2018

Shortlisted London Planning Awards 2018 - Best Borough Led Project
Shortlisted Brick Awards 2018 - Worldwide category 
Shortlisted Housing Design Award 2014
Shortlisted New London Awards 2014 

Karakusevic Carson Architects with David Chipperfield Architects were appointed by the Hackney Council Estate Regeneration Team to design two residential tall buildings on the Colville Estate in Hoxton. 

The buildings form Phase 3 of Hackney Council’s redevelopment of the Colville Estate - part of their borough wide Estate Regeneration Programme and will accommodate 198 private tenure apartments which will partly cross-subsidise the construction of 450 affordable homes across the new Colville neighbourhood.

The new 16 and 20 storey towers mark the corner of Penn St. and Bridport Place and look onto Shoreditch Park, creating a new route from the park and a unique pedestrian space. 

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

The two towers accommodate a mix of studios, one and two bed apartments and three bed penthouses. On the first and second floors, studios are combined with one and two bed units, with studios facing East/South/West only. Typical floors provide six alternating 1 and 2 bed apartments per floor. Penultimate floors provide three 3 Bed Penthouses, and top floors provide three 3 Bed Penthouses with access to private roof terraces. This vertical arrangement and central ‘service zone’ allows services to stack vertically and to follow the line of the vault to transfer to the core at ground floor level.  

The challenge for phase 3 was to engage the community with the concept of tall buildings which, although providing cross-subsidy for the wider masterplan, do not form part of the decant strategy and are solely for private sale. Residents had initial concerns over what the ground floor uses would be, and initial questions over material quality and robustness, daylight issues and density. We approached this design process as we have the other phases of the Colville Estate; through in-depth dialogue, regular presentations and discussions, and a schedule of varied consultation events to involve all members of the community, including weekend drop-in events, evening workshops, weekend ‘fun day’ events and site visits to precedent buildings across London. We presented with large scale models and varied visual material including sketches, images, plans, details and life size samples and mock-ups. This gained the support from the local community and has also been presented and discussed with local Councillors and reviewed by the Hackney Design Review Panel, who were supportive of this design and the wider regeneration scheme.


The buildings are shaped to minimise loss of light to neighbours and provide a series of elegant elevation profiles. The hexagonal footprint and orientation maximises daylight to surrounding buildings and enables a layout of 100% generous dual-aspect apartments. The floor plans have the option of 4-6 units per floor, maximising views over the park and the canal.

The site marks the main axis from Shoreditch Park to the new Colville neighbourhood and onwards to the Regents Canal. Transparency and permeability is a key ambition across the entire ground floor, opening up the site visually and connecting the buildings, as well as enabling a mix of residential and commercial uses. This has been achieved by fully glazed elevations to all six sides of each tower and through accommodating all refuse, storage and services at basement level. Accommodating all service functions within the basement enables the ground floor and residential lobbies to remain uncluttered. The project has a basement car park and deals with complex constraints of a main sewers and major gas pipes.

Answering the brief from Hackney Council, the ground floor has a public quality on all faces - housing a cafe and entrance lobbies that have a strong connection with the surrounding area. Glazed screens divide between different uses to allow long views through the buildings and into the landscape and surrounding streets. A sculpted soffit will direct daylight into the spaces and provide a strong architectural character contributing to the overall quality of the public open space and create an appropriate entrance into the new neighbourhood.

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

Design Team

Architects: Karakusevic Carson Architects and David Chipperfield Architects

Landscape Architect: Vogt

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