Waterside way of life

Samy Mansour
Monday 11 Jan 2010

Appointed to design two new residential buildings Make’s brief was to create exceptional affordable sustainable homes

An innovative approach was required to ensure these buildings represented the highest design quality and individuality and with this in mind an art strategy was integrated into the building design from the outset. Make collaborated with the artist Claire Woods to design a vast artwork which wraps the two buildings and visually binds them into a striking whole. The design evokes elements of the site’s history and is etched into the panels so that it flickers in and out of view as prevailing light conditions fluctuate.

The buildings are angled to maximise the views over the restored Grosvenor Dock and create a secluded community atmosphere. A series of steps descend to the water’s edge from a double-height colonnade containing a restaurant, bar and entrance lobbies. These community facilities bring animation to the waterfront and echo the traditional architectural treatment of London’s docks and wharfs. All residents enjoy access to a private garden on the roof of a health club which links the two buildings.

Both blocks share a pattern of fenestration with larger windows for the living spaces and slender vertical and horizontal slots used to enhance the intimacy of bedrooms and bathrooms. Dockside apartments further this grid outline with enclosed balconies that create a series of outdoor rooms and incise the facade with a dynamic arrangement of voids. The fine tuning of this glazing system has produced an energy efficient facade which is 79 per cent solid without compromising the natural lighting of interior spaces.

The apartments have received a BRE Ecohomes rating of ‘Very Good’. An on-site CHP system supplies heat and power to the building, while rainwater is collected to irrigate gardens and landscaping.

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United Kingdom

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