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HOLME

WESTON HALL

BYRON STREET

BEECH HILL

ST. OLAVS

MAY GURNEY

HOLME

There’s no place like Holme. No seriously. This exciting 28 unit development takes innovative an approach to permeability. Opening up visual and physical connections across the scheme into the park behind.

Hackney, London.

‘Holme’ is forged around the idea of creating mews houses and apartments which are interspersed around generous internal and external communal spaces to help foster a sense of community. Dowen Farmer, Artform Group and the wider team wanted to celebrate the journey into people’s home’s where communal circulation spaces are often overlooked.

The close proximity of the neighbouring residential homes has driven the massing which utilises offsets and recesses within the massing that step back as the building gets taller. These moves within the massing offer private outdoor amenity spaces and provide the apartments with oblique views along the mews whilst mitigating overlooking. The lower-rise parts of the scheme are  designed as a mixture of mews houses and stacked maisonettes, providing dual-aspect units with private gardens facing on to Abney Park. This typology gives these family homes their own front doors and enhances the activated nature of the pedestrianised landscaping, which is interspersed with planting and outdoor amenity space.

Accentuated pedestrian access points ensure that the scheme is accessible and easy to navigate. This was achieved by rounding off key corners drawing people into the glazed cores. Smaller entrances for individual units also utilised design moves to help define them and arrival points through deep chamfered reveals with integrated planting.

(01)  PERMEABLE LASS CORES
(02)  CYCLE STORES WITHIN THE LANDSCAPE
(03)  EV AND DISABLED PARKING
(04)  MEWS STYLE HOUSES
(05)  FLATS
(06)  ABNEY PARK

Planning History – DFA were approached by the client to redesign a scheme that already had planning consent on the site and make it into a feasible project that would be financially viable. Within a month, the full application was worked up and ready to be submitted which was approved toward the end of the year. Removing the basement, rationalising the cores and access to each unit and a revised, more sensitive massing were part of the redesign process to develop a scheme that worked for both the client and local planning authority.

Planning History – DFA were approached by the client to redesign a scheme that already had planning consent on the site and make it into a feasible project that would be financially viable. Within a month, the full application was worked up and ready to be submitted which was approved toward the end of the year. Removing the basement, rationalising the cores and access to each unit and a revised, more sensitive massing were part of the redesign process to develop a scheme that worked for both the client and local planning authority.

Context – Abney Park sits directly adjacent to the site and was therefore a significant design driver when looking at the initial concepts for the scheme. Permeability through the proposal was a must to be able to have a minimum impact on the Local Natural Reserve and maintain visual connections from one side to the other.

Sustainability – The scheme utilises a fabric first approach to sustainability, creating a thermally efficient built envelope which will greatly reduce the energy consumption of the building over its lifetime. Further, the scheme is completely gas free, integrating the latest air source heat pump technology to supply hot water to the homes.

Green Roof – The building also utilises a complete green roof design to foster the biodiversity from Abney Park and assist towards the sustainable urban drainage strategy.

The scheme takes a fabric-first approach to sustainability, creating a thermally efficient built envelope that will greatly reduce the building’s energy consumption over its lifetime. The high-performance wall build-ups are faced with high-quality, locally sourced bricks which utilise a variety of brick bonds to further articulate the building, creating nest environments for local birdlife whilst echoing the timeless Victorian and Georgian detailing found within the local context. The building  integrates 100 per cent green roof design to foster the biodiversity from  Abney Park and assist towards the sustainable urban drainage strategy.

The land at Wilmer Place has had a drawn-out planning history which has seen a number of applications from the larger supermarket development to a series of mixed-use schemes with residential and commercial elements.  The previous approval was deemed to be unviable by the client due to the  construction cost and unit mix. Dowen Farmer Architects were tasked to provide a fresh design approach which would achieve a marked improvement on efficiency, net unit area and unit quantum without compromising on design. We had to work closely with Maddox  Planning to rethink servicing, remove the basement and integrate cycle parking into the landscape.

The design,  footprint and massing envelope remains the same in principle as both of the previous existing approvals. The concept was to create two visual connections through to the park from the main courtyard space, as this was the arrival amenity space, and the key location to appreciate the visual connections. One further cut through the proposal, opposite the Cotton Exchange, to the park splits up the scheme into four blocks; these four blocks have the same language but are architecturally broken down in their massing to have the expression and feeling of a mews development and reflects the language of the surrounding conservation area.