White Post Lane is situated in the creative Hackney Wick and Fish Island community, linking Victoria Park and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The approved proposal takes inspiration from the existing area where creative industries and residents live side-by-side in the converted warehouses and factories left over from the Victorian industrial buildings.
There were a number of challenges to overcome; a Thames Water trunk sewer running underneath, the proximity to a busy motorway, flood risk levels and a curved site geometry. The brief stated a six storey height restriction, replacement of the existing commercial spaces, new public routes and a new housing mix. The brief combined with the site constraints made this a particularly complex project.
Initially the sewer running under the site with its restrictive easement was a constraint. We however saw an opportunity to introduce a second covered route through the site, allowing views of the working yard and streets beyond.
The Big Idea
The scheme is a collection of three residential buildings and a commercial building connected around a yard space. There are 103 homes; 99 apartments of varying sizes and 4 townhouses, sitting along side 2900 sq m of commercial space. All sharing a gridded brick aesthetic, inspired by the warehouses in the surrounding area.
Each home was designed to maximise views, space and light, providing dual and triple aspect units throughout most of the scheme. They have also been designed to have generous floor to ceiling heights and exceed all standards new homes aspire to achieve.
The new residents are able to view the furniture makers, sculptors and other creative professionals working in the yards below whilst also being able to access a series of roof top gardens at varying heights.
“A handsome and well resolved scheme for a challenging site.”
LLDC Planning Committee Member
The Small Detail
The new homes and workspaces are intended to share a similar warehouse brick architecture, creating a collection of unique buildings that sit together comfortably. This is achieved by creative and varied use of brick, using it in an array of orientations and angles. This is most successful on the columns of the largest building where the brick has been rotated to create serrated ‘dogtooth’ pattern that catches the light in dramatic ways.
The four linked buildings will contain approximately 280k bricks which laid in a straight line from the site would stretch 6.3km to the Tate Modern on the Southbank.
The Bigger Picture
The scheme forms part of a larger urban block masterplan Hawkins\Brown have been collaborating with Aitch Group and HWO Architects, with three other sites to follow.