Hoxton Press forms the third phase of the wider Colville Estate Masterplan for Hackney Council which we have been developing since 2009. Working closely with the community to re‑design the neighbourhood, we established the idea of two tall buildings on a small car‑park and bin store plot at the south edge of the masterplan. This location which borders Shoreditch Park offered an opportunity to build taller and create 198 flats for private sale which co‑funds the creation of 450 council homes across the wider estate masterplan.
The strategic placement, orientation and shape of the two 16‑and 20‑storey buildings responds to and optimises their constrained urban location while creating a strong urban form with a series of innovative dual‑aspect dwelling types on the inside. Building frontages are positioned to align with the surrounding street pattern, while the hexagonal footprint maximises views and minimises light‑loss and overlooking to neighbouring buildings. This arrangement achieves buildings ‘in the round’ with no fronts or backs, allowing the scheme to address its context in all directions and offer views out from the living spaces on all six sides.
Residential floors are arranged concentrically with living rooms located at the perimeter, benefitting from increased daylight and natural ventilation. Typical floors accommodate six 1 and 2‑bedroom apartments, each with dual aspect views. Larger 3‑bedroom homes are located on the upper floors. The structural frame of each building allows for column‑free balconies, enabling unobstructed, panoramic views across the park, while solid brick upstands increase a feeling of privacy at height and help to define the bold, sculptural form of the buildings. The use of hand‑made brickwork in two different tones accentuates their silhouette and gives each building its own identity.
At street level, striking double‑height vaults create a memorable arrival into the buildings and contain a community café/gallery open to the public. Large glazed screens wrap around this space to maximise long views through the ground floor and blend the buildings seamlessly into landscape. A continuous surface of granite cobbles extends from the outside in, connecting the two buildings with a new public space and creating a threshold from Shoreditch Park to the revitalised Colville Estate.