Also known as Lowden Court, the site is located in a mixed-use area on the corner of Wenlock Road and Sturt Street in the west of London Borough of Hackney.
The scheme steps from 3 storeys to 5. Units are arranged around a central courtyard at first floor leaving the ground and basement for commercial uses and provides 30 affordable homes and commercial spaces. The site is an “island”, surrounded by four roads with The Wenlock Arms Public House on the north-western corner, the pub lies outside the site boundary.
This part of Hackney has a mixed character and has seen a vast amount of change over the years, Lowden Court embraces this, whilst establishing a connection to the local heritage. It is our interpretation of a Victorian façade, in a contemporary way; an experiment a few architects were exploring in the area at the time.
Located on the same street as our former studio, Lowden Court is personal to us. We know the area well; The Wenlock Arms was our “local” and designing for a new community on our doorstep was a great opportunity. Our goal was a building that we could be proud of and that stood the test of time.
As a 100% social housing scheme, the building provides a variety of unit types from 1-bed apartments to 5-bed townhouses, catering for the needs of the local community. The articulation of the building reflects this diverse brief. A community-feel was sought with the inclusion of a central courtyard and generous walkways around it.
Lowden Court is well-used. With all homes are occupied with most residents living in the building since it was completed. Post-occupancy surveys indicate that 100% of the residents felt the building had a sense of community. The courtyard located in the middle of the building, with front doors coming off it creates a community feel.
“I go to the courtyard and have a coffee with my friend who lives in the block and our children play.” (Resident).
Users enjoy their homes, “Bright, spacious, lovely flat.” (Resident). “My home is spacious; a good size and the rooms are good shapes.” (Resident)
Healthy homes and workspaces are integral to the design with Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 achieved and BREEAM very good for the commercial space. A green roof increases the biodiversity credentials of the site, as well as reducing the speed and amount of surface water runoff. A rainwater harvesting system is integrated, bat and bird boxes are utilised and planted areas with species that produce berries and seeds incorporated.
The area is served by local amenities of surrounding neighbourhoods like Shoreditch and Islington, with Angel and Old Street Underground and Overground lines in close proximity. It is also served by numerous bus routes which link the area to the rest of London.