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Kingsland Road

This project provides upper-level infill housing over an existing retail premises on Hackney’s busy Kingsland Road. The current building has two recessed residential floors above a one-storey shop unit. The upper levels will be demolished and replaced with high quality courtyard housing.

  • Type Living
  • Location Hackney, London
  • Status In Planning
  • Year 2023
Kingsland Road

The site itself was cleared after WW2 due to bomb damage, so our architectural proposals offer an opportunity to mend the street elevation in a way that compliments the characteristics of the high street which is part of the Kingsland Conservation Area. Despite damage, and later development, Victorian vernacular is still the dominant form of the neighbouring buildings. Similarly, to the rear of the building on Birkbeck Mews, our proposals seek to reference the scale and appearance of the traditional retail mews, but in a contemporary way.

Through detailed study of surrounding buildings, we selected formal elements of Victorian buildings that were interesting for their proximity, relevance, and consistency of architectural expression. These included examples of window pediments, frames, and consoles; rooflines, cornices, and banding; and string brick courses. Our proposal has re-arranged these typical elements and reinterpreted them. For example, the traditional dog-tooth brick of the roof banding, has found a new place as a linear ornament around a window, which itself mimics the outline shape of period window frames and pediments.

Kingsland Road
Kingsland Road

Similarly, on Birkbeck Mews, we have created a relief design on the fa├žade that references the found amalgamation of building heights, slopes, and angles of the traditional mews, which is less formal, and more random in its nature than the high street elevation. Here the top floor materialises as a mansard level, with dark standing seam cladding, smaller windows, and metal railings to the terraces. The ground floor is expressed with a dog-tooth pattern, which underscores the gable-end roof motif, grounds the building, injects interest and tactile quality, making the building more relatable at the pedestrian level.

With the necessary densification of our cities comes the responsibility to carve essential pockets of outdoor amenity, both private and public, shared gardens and pocket parks. Concentrating the building mass at the two ends of the site allows for a creation of a shared platform courtyard, which can be accessed by all the residents. Between the east and west elements of the development, a private garden has been created offering amenity in the spatial lightwell between the blocks. A space for gathering relaxing, and active gardening. Positive urban development finds ways of adding to the biodiversity and tranquillity of the city, creating social and environmental gains. This this has been a key consideration for the project.

Kingsland Road
Kingsland Road

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