UNStudio's tower in Islington centred around 'clusters' offers views around the city
UNStudio's design for this residential tower incorporates the remodeling of the facade, a streamlimimg of the building’s mass and a contrasting of scale and detail untypical of a residential tower. The façade for the Canaletto tower was designed to emphasise its residential character and to define a distinct ‘Islington’ response.
In UNStudio’s design near and distant townscape views are enhanced through scale, detail and material variation. The proposed building facade creates a modeled elevation in which clusters of adjacent floors are grouped together. Contrasting materials are employed within each grouping, where the 'outer' smooth metallic element is complemented by an 'inner' use of textured materials. Throughout the building the cluster concept of the facade is designed to maximise levels of transparency and frame the views towards the sky, thereby lending the tower a softer and more nuanced silhouette.
The materialisation of the facade draws from examples of detailing and the contrasting of materials that is readily expressed in product or furniture design. The modelling of the balconies within each grouped cluster lends variability to the facade and the living experience for the residents in the building. Outdoor spaces play a large role in the enjoyment of living environments. Therefore the attention to creating unique, sheltered spaces of high quality was a driver in early design development. The aspect of using both textured and smooth materials contrasts with the expected contemporariness of a typical high-rise metal construction and lends this facade a residential 'twist.'
The elevation additionally offers sustainability benefits. The surface modelling creates opportunities for shading, balancing good internal daylight and views with reduced heat gains. The articulation of the façade will additionally reduce wind down drafts and, in combination with canopy proposals at the base of the building, provide an improved pedestrian microclimate. A landscaped garden on Wharf Road provides access to the residential lobby, whilst the ground floor garden provides an attractive entrance and a green oasis off the busy City Road.