Hawkins\Brown's proposal was generated from the desire to maximize the amount of daylight and ventilation available into each flat and to avoid a ‘dead’ lightwell that is shared by too many people to make it useful as a shared amenity space. When complete the building will become the tallest Cross Laminated Timber building in Europe.
The ‘cruciform’ plan provides four courtyards with better visual connections to the city fostering an intimate community experience for residents. A series of twists ensures all flats to have 2 or 3 aspects with generous terraces. The ‘skewed form’ faces the views up and down the Basin rather than directly across the narrow waterway and offers a more dynamic form when seen in long view from the Canal.
To reinforce the streetscape in a conservation area the timber clad “cross” is protected by a dark brick grid, providing a sense of defensible space to residents inside and giving much needed definition to Wenlock Road.