Cherry Orchard Road
Cherry Orchard Road Croydon Project: Cherry Orchard Road Client: Menta Croydon Ltd Area: 0.8 hectares Appointed: November 2009 Planning submitted: March 2011 Planning approval: Committee scheduled on 21st July 2011 Cherry Orchard Road is a mixed use development that will reinvigorate Croydon and provide a new way of living in London. Comprising four distinctive buildings, the proposals include a landmark 55-storey residential tower, a four star boutique-style hotel, a Grade A start-up office block incorporating a new local pub, affordable housing, ground level amenity retail, a reconfigured service yard and a new entrance for East Croydon Station, as well as three new public spaces which ensure that more than 36% of the site is publicly accessible. Immediately adjacent to East Croydon Station and lying within the parameters of the East Croydon Masterplan, the scheme provides sustainable, high density accommodation next to one of the UKs busiest railway interchanges. The existing 0.8 hectare site is mostly derelict and isolated from the main commercial centre of Croydon, so the masterplan improvements include a new bridge linking the station platforms and the western business area. The development utilises slender building footprints to create a generous public realm which connects to the station bridge to provide an eastern link with a new station entrance. This new urban permeability results in three principal public spaces; Cherry Orchard Square, Station Terrace and Oval Place. 'Croydon-ness' is a key concept for the overall project massing and a product of extensive research into Croydon's built environment. Existing urban characteristics are reinvented into related layers and columns, arranged horizontally and vertically according to the individual building forms and functions. Residential accommodation is expressed vertically, reflecting the internal accommodation and the existing domestic patterns, whereas the hotel and office accommodation have a horizontal expression reflecting their more open and flexible floor plates. Massing, cladding colour and detail are used to provide a clear textural narrative ensuring that each resident can identify where they live at both an urban and a domestic scale. As the masterplan anchor, the residential tower forms a distinctive silhouette on the London skyline. The cluster of vertical columns expresses the different internal layouts, stacked in a sliding arrangement to reflect the movement of the adjacent train station. Pauses and projections within the tower's organisation allow a scaled understanding of the building and make room for special places within it. They also provide variation in the number of apartments on each level, where there are between five and ten front doors leading off a central core of generously proportioned, dual-aspect apartments designed to comply with the emerging London Housing Design Standards With 424 apartments distributed over 51 floors and four additional floors of communal uses and amenity retail spread throughout the building, the tower is a vertical street punctuated by communal facilities accessible to all residents. Occupiers will be able to entertain, celebrate and relax with neighbours and friends in a range of spaces along their 'street' that make the most of the building’s architecture and views. At levels 14 and 32, pauses within the columnar arrangement create external sky gardens; levels 2 and 43 are wholly communal and at level 1 the Kids Room provides open play space for the under fives. Level 2 is the Family Room where a function room is the primary space. Other Family Room facilities include a full kitchen, a small business suite, a games room, an area for computer games and a craft room. At level 43 the Club Room provides a dry gym; a sauna; a games room; a large party room and lounge area; a triple-height internal garden with a climbing wall; and an external terrace. Immediately to the south of the tower is the 17-storey Station Hotel comprising 165 guest rooms and 22 serviced apartments. In contrast to the vertical massing of the residential accommodation, the hotel is made up of stacked layers grouped according to function; as the function changes the layers twist, mediating between Cherry Orchard Road to the east and the station to the west. Like the tower, the hotel will provide a new model of accommodation; a business centre and a wellness centre combine with the enlarged hotel functions to create a new community hub. The most southerly building is the new start-up offices, where columns are laid horizontally to create a series of stacked pods overlooking the station. At the lower levels the existing public house is reinvigorated. To the north of the tower and on the eastern side of Cherry Orchard Road, 72 mixed tenure affordable homes provide vertically arranged stepping layers connecting to the existing buildings to the east. The four distinct buildings are connected by a new public realm where amenity retail, cafes and the station and building entrances create ground level activity at all times. Cherry Orchard Square is the largest space and leads up from Cherry Orchard Road to the station bridge, creating a dramatic new east-west link. The necessary stepped change in level creates an interesting, welcoming and civilised gateway between the residential tower and the hotel via a main stair and concourse which forms a major new public and retail space and a focus for the local community. As part of an integrated and holistic sustainability strategy, different measures at different scales are incorporated to reduce the carbon footprint. Measures include combined heat and power, water harvesting and dedicated cycle storage spaces in all tower apartments and combined they result in a carbon saving 20% in excess of current Building Regulations.

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