Diving board balconies create a big splash

27 Nov 2009

PTEa transform City Road Basin into a thriving canalside community

Angel Waterside creates a publicly accessible waterside park overlooked by high quality tenure-blind affordable and private sale flats. PTEa acted not only as architect and masterplanner but also worked jointly with Groveworld, a small homebuilder-developer, to develop the site and also act as main contractor, known collectively as City Wharf Development Company and City Wharf Construction Company.

The City Road Basin’s evolution away from its industrial past gave us the opportunity to radically alter the local environment - PTEa seized that opportunity to gift a waterside park to the whole community and to create affordable homes with waterside views. The City Road Basin was until recently a major centre of commercial activity, and the industrial buildings on the canalside had made the waterway inaccessible to the local community. When a major site on the canal became vacant, the architects saw that there was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realise the potential of the Basin as a community asset.

PTEa have created a community park and walkway along the Basin from space generated by pulling the building line back towards the street. This opens up the canal basin to the community for the first time and creates green space in an area of the capital where it is most lacking.On the canal side, the largely glazed elevations with a variety of recessed and projecting ‘diving board’ balconies maximise the experience of the park and waterside, and zinc cladding creates a visual link with nearby PTEa projects Diespeker Wharf and Crystal Wharf.

On the street side, the buildings are set back by three metres to give light and space to the public footway. Projecting bays evoke the dockland aesthetic and are angled to the south to catch the sun and to direct views towards the city. The parapet line at which the building sets back to create a series of roof terraces reflects the height and scale of the buildings on the other side of the street.

There are 85 mixed tenure homes in four apartment blocks each accessed from separate circulation cores with their own street entrances. The affordable housing is the only block with residential on the ground floor to allow for family-sized maisonettes with a front terrace overlooking the park. Throughout the scheme the majority of the larger flats are dual aspect, with living spaces capitalising on the waterside aspect, whilst allowing the warmer southerly aspect via the bedrooms looking onto the street. All units throughout the scheme are designed to Lifetime Homes standard.

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