An old industrial area by Channelsea River near the Olympic Park in east London is being transformed into a new residential and commercial quarter. Here, White Arkitekter has proposed the design of a residential building which takes inspiration from the local industrial past through its shape and materials.
Located next to the river, where the various bridges across the river complex offer views of Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park, the building is designed as a lightweight structure using cross laminated timber (CLT). Using CLT provides an environmentally sustainable choice of material and also enables the prefabrication of many elements off-site, speeding up construction time.
The apartment building’s form references the factories that used to exist on the site and in the area during the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In particular, this included the establishment of numerous metal works. White’s design re-interprets this industrial history in a modern industrial aesthetic.
A lightweight metal rain-screen facade system of copper alloy envelops the building with its 36 apartments. The copper has a ribbed profile which gives the façade texture and depth. It also prevents unwanted irregularities in the panels as it gives them an integral strength.
The articulated roof harks back to a time when the industrial works were in full swing, but the form also has a practical purpose; it provides a degree of screening to the roof terraces on the fifth floor. It also conceals plant equipment – White’s vision incorporates deep cantilevered balconies which allow planting to spread up from the courtyard extending the green border on and around the building. The sloped roof to the fifth floor also contains north lights for the top floor apartments, making them lighter and lending a special quality by extending the ceiling height. Furthermore, the roof’s shape and angle is optimised for photovoltaic (PV) cells which provide energy for the building and reduce its carbon footprint.
The building forms a new courtyard with an adjacent apartment block in a refurbished office building. White’s proposed building connects with the existing block through a landscape designed to encourage meetings and create a dynamic and safe neighbourhood.
- Client: IDM Properties
- Project Start/End: 2016
- Area/Size: 2600 m2
- Apartments / Rooms: 36
- City: London
- Photographer/Illustrator: White View
- Jay Williams
- Linda Thiel
- Martin Johnson
- Lukas Thiel
- Ioannis Anagnostopoulos
- Feras Abboud
- Linda Wallander
- Rikard Sjöberg