Hoxton Press, Colville Estate

Karakusevic Carson Architects

Hackney Council

The London Borough Hackney

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

100% market sale for estate-wide cross subsidy

Completed 2018

Selected awards:
BCIA Awards 2019 - Housing Project of the Year
LABC Building Excellence Awards 2019 - Best High Volume New Housing
New London Award 2019 - Housing
Brick Awards 2018 - Shortlist 
Housing Design Award 2014 - Shortlist 
New London Awards 2014 - Shortlist 

Karakusevic Carson Architects and David Chipperfield Architects were appointed by the Hackney Council Estate Regeneration Team to design two tall residential buildings in Hoxton, East London.

The buildings form Phase 3 of the Colville Estate Masterplan and accommodate 198 apartments for private sale which will cross-subsidise the construction of 450 affordable homes across the new Colville neighbourhood. Karakusevic Carson Architects designed the masterplan in 2010, and working closely with residents, established the idea of two tall buildings on a small portion of the site. This enabled the wider site and replacement homes to be based around streets with medium-rise buildings ranging from 4-8 storeys.

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

Residents had initial concerns and questions over ground floor uses, material quality, daylight provision and density. We approached the design process with members of the community through in-depth dialogue, regular presentations using large models and a schedule of varied consultation events including weekend drop-in events, evening workshops, weekend community fun day events and site visits to precedent buildings across London. Proposals were also presented and discussed with local Councillors and reviewed by the Hackney Design Review Panel, who were extremely supportive of the design and the wider regeneration scheme.

The new 16 and 20 storey buildings 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 that filters into the wider neighbourhood. The buildings are orientated to respect the emerging streetscape and minimise overlooking and loss of light loss to neighbours. The variation of height and colour between the two buildings gives each a distinct identity, while a simple palette of hand-crafted brickwork accentuates their strong architectural character and silhouette.

The hexagonal footprint provides each of the 198 apartments with a dual-aspect living room and balcony. The structural frame facilitates column-free corners providing unobstructed panoramic views of the city, while solid brick upstands provide privacy to residents and define the strong sculptural form of the buildings.

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

A striking double height vault at ground level provides a generous arrival and café/gallery open to the public. By locating support spaces in the basement, the buildings have an open quality on all faces to enliven the streetscape and the new public area. Large glazed screens maximise views through the ground floor and blend the buildings seamlessly into the landscape, with a continuous landscape of granite cobbles extending from inside out. The two buildings frame a new public space with a gentle mound, informal clusters of trees and seating, forming a threshold between Shoreditch Park and the new Colville neighbourhood.

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 Design: Vogt

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