Leaside Road

London Borough of Hackney

The client had owned this existing commercial building on Leaside Road in Hackney for a number of years, and wanted to explore options to develop the site into something of merit. A series of developments had been recently completed to transform this area into a prominantly residential area, enjoying the local landscaping and Leaside Canal. The resultant development, which has been submitted for Planning consent, accommodates 35 residential apartments, including 6 affordable apartments, with 10,000ft2 of commercial space.

The site is adjacent to the Lea Navigation, a canalised river flowing towards the River Thames, with Walthamstow Marshes and Lea Valley Park on the opposite bank. The site offers a wide eastward vista and is bookended by existing five - and six-storey, modern residential buildings built within the last two decades. With a footbridge less than a quarter of a mile away, access to both sides of the Lea Navigation is available, greatly increasing the recreational and sustainable transport credentials of the site.

Townscape analysis was sought during the pre-application negotiation stage to provide evidence that the design sat comfortably within its surroundings. The London Borough of Hackney reiterated the importance of the vista from the Marshes vantage point. The massing of the building has been sculptured in this regard, with the angled form allowing for a subtle variation in height inkeeping with the local built environment. This allow creates a sense of subserviance, which subconciously creates a feeling of sympathetic integration.

The design features a gentle grid pattern which is playfully expressed using windows and balconies. This creates depth and illumination whilst incouraging residents to enjoy the beautiful views along the canal towards Tottenham to the North and Straford/Olympic village to the South.

A careful material palette is used to further define the Architectural quality. A pale and dark red/brown brick tone is used to articulate the diagram, so the design reads in a coherent and refined manner. This is further emphasised through the differeing metal tones in the windows and balustrade. The window fenestration is kept to a minimum, to ensure the diagram is not diluted in a fussy way.