Upper Clapton Tram Shed
January 2009, Design Commenced. December 2009, Full planning application submitted to London Borough of Hackney. June 2010, Planning permission granted. Upper Clapton Road is a part conversion, part new-build residential-led mixed-use development of 92 residential units. The dwelling mix comprises 30 1-bed, 35 2-bed, 9 3-bed, 18 4-beds. The tenure split is 50% affordable, 50% private, and the scheme has a density of 624 habitable rooms per hectare. It includes 190m2 community centre, 325m2 retail space, 1500m2 of commercial re-provision and 42 car parking spaces (10% wheelchair accessible). The anticipated construction cost is £12million. Context. The site in Hackney, East London is surrounded by a variety of residential and commercial uses. This former Tram depot site is occupied by a series of existing brick 1-2 storey buildings. Athough in a state of disrepair, the buildings are currently in full use as workshops, housing and storage, with no amenity or pedestrian access through the site. This part of Upper Clapton Road lacks any street frontage other than a blank single storey wall, a vehicular entrance and commercial unit at one end; also the surrounding buildings are substantially higher. The incongruous relationship between the heights of the existing buildings on the site and those surrounding it highlights the poor relationship between the site and its surroundings. The site is currently landlocked and not in keeping with the grain of the surrounding area. It is hoped that the current vibrant mix of businesses will return to the tram depot following the works. Response to site. The redevelopment retains one existing tram depot building (though not listed, it does have architectural merit). By stripping the building back to reveal its features and removing the buildings to the North of the site, the tramshed takes centre stage and forms the backbone of the proposal. Many of the existing Tramshed features will be retained, including the brick gables to the external walls, the first floor slab (maintaining the full height workshop spaces at ground floor), the existing openings (particularly on the North facade) and the tram tracks which are still present at ground floor. The proposal adds residential accommodation over the Tramshed building, partially reusing the existing first floor slab and introducing new columns and supporting walls. To differentiate between the old and new elements, the new building is set back from the façade of the existing building creating an interstitial space suitable for terraces and circulation. The contemporary materials used in the new insert create a dynamic contrast between the old and new buildings. However, when viewed from street level, the existing tram depot will read as a single entity, preserving it’s unique character and integrity. Active street frontages have been created to address the streets along the site boundary and within the site, and are punctuated by front doors to dwellings, commercial shop fronts, workshop glazing and street furniture. External Appearance. The proposed new materials reflect the industrial heritage of the site, but are detailed in a sophisticated way more appropriate to their new use. Materials include core ten balustrades, timber balcony balustrades, new glazing at ground floor to tram shed (existing brick retained above), grey/black bricks to new buildings and grey powder coated steel panels. Orientation and Aspect.. The scheme layout has been carefully considered to minimise overlooking both between residential dwellings within the development, and neighbouring dwellings. No unit in the proposal is North aspect only, and the design maximizes the number of dual aspect dwellings (the majority). New North-South orientated blocks create dual-aspect East-West facing units. The existing tramshed is orientated East-West, so the units lend themselves to dual aspect North-South facing units. Sustainability. Carbon emission reductions in the design produce a total saving of 24.88 % or 109,216 kgCO2/yr. These are, (including the percentage reduction in brackets): - Be Lean (11.32%): Energy efficiency measures including: high performance U-Values, good airtightness, measures to reduce over-heating and natural ventilation where possible. - Be Clean : Clean energy generation to include : a communal gas-fired heating system to include a high efficiency and low NOx gas boiler. A connection to a potential district heating system will be implemented. - Be Green (15.29%) : Biomass boilers to provide the base load of hot water. The design for the non-domestic element achieves a Very Good BREEAM rating; the residential accommodation achieves Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 and includes green roofs, brown roofs a biomass boiler and communal heating. Amenity Space. Generous amenity spaces are incorporated throughout including; Public amenity: two large communal courtyards and leafy street planting which the public can interact with and use for recreation along the new pedestrian route. A key feature of the design is the opening-up of a new pedestrian street passing through the site from Upper Clapton to Casimir Road and the park beyond to the East. It is attenuated by a number of public and semi-public green spaces creating a sense of place, and is based on the principles of ‘Home Zones’ ie as places for people, striking a balance between pedestrians, residents, visitors, business people, vehicles and cyclists. Private amenity is provided to each dwelling; terraces to the refurbished tram shed (formed in the interstitial spaces between the new and existing buildings), roof top terraces to townhouses, or private balconies. Creating Safe Environments. This scheme was developed in close liaison with the Secured By Design officer. This ensured aspects of resident security were considered from the outset. This redevelopment revitalises the streetscape with a vibrant use mix ensuring it is used around the clock. Design Standards. The scheme has been designed in accordance with the Housing Corporation Scheme development standards, Lifetime Homes, Housing Quality Indicators and achieves an informal Building for Life assessment of 15/20.


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