Branch Place, Colville Estate

Hackney Council

The London Borough of Hackney

Units and Density:
209 homes, 177 dph, 760 hrh

54% social rent, 16% intermediate, 30% market sale

Phase 2A&B completed 2019

Selected awards:
Housing Design Award 2020
Neave Brown Award for Social Housing 2019 - Shortlist

Based on the principles set out in the Colville Estate Masterplan and Design Code, the second phase of the Colville Estate creates a diverse and sustainable mixed-tenure community with new streets and spaces to reconnect the estate back into the wider neighbourhood.

The design has been led by active community engagement, with Karakusevic Carson Architects working closely with estate residents throughout all design stages to shape proposals. The Colville Estate Tenants and Residents Association (CETRA) have been integral to decisions on all aspects of the scheme including massing, landscaping, internal layouts and material finishes. Engagement with the wider community has been achieved through an extensive programme of workshops, exhibitions and community fun days, enabling all members of the local area to review designs.

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

Branch Place, Colville Estate is comprised of a 'family' of three buildings, crafted from a palette of high-quality, tenure-blind materials; brickwork, elegant metalwork and solid timber. Their design balances consistency of urban form with a variety of architectural character between each building through articulated roof lines, facades and subtle variations in brick tone.

The public realm strategy includes a new neighbourhood street running east-west forming a vital link through the estate, while new pedestrian priority streets run north-south. Well defined street-based buildings with regular front doors enliven the public realm and promote a sense of safety within the area.

The copper mansard roof of the taller building next to Regent’s Canal reflects the nearby historic warehouse buildings and marks the beginning of the new Colville neighbourhood. A new courtyard building set along Branch Place contains a raised landscaped courtyard garden covering an undercroft carpark. In response to the different edge conditions, the massing has been broken down into smaller elements, lowering the mass to the south ensures light floods the courtyard space whilst enabling clear views towards the city.

The building set to the south-east of the site will include an Energy Centre which will supply a district heat network and a new Community Centre fronting onto Penn Street. Triangular in plan, it includes a double height plinth which creates a continuous active street frontage with two separate building elements and raised courtyard gardens above. 

Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects
Karakusevic Carson Architects

The landscape design by Muf architecture/art is characterised by a holistic and fully integrated approach with the whole Colville Masterplan. Street planting underlines the hierarchy of the public realm with larger street trees positioned along main routes and smaller species planted in beds along the pedestrian-priority routes. 

Residents worked closely with the design teams to explore ways of integrating areas for community growing within the public realm. The use of high-quality paving materials, tree planting based on identified character areas and careful detailing of the amenity spaces emphasises the clearly defined hierarchy of public, private and semi-private open spaces throughout the scheme. 

Karakusevic Carson Architects

Design Team

Architects: Karakusevic Carson Architects

Landscape/Public Realm: Muf architecture/art, Periscope

Planning: Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design

Engineering: Peter Brett Associates

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