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AHMM homes in on Barking start

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) is set to start on site with these designs for a library, life-long learning centre and residential development in Barking town centre, east London.

The project - which won outline approval at the beginning of the year - will incorporate the public facility on the bottom two levels with housing above.

The practice has completely reworked the scheme since permission was first granted, adding considerably more 'clarity' to the project and ensuring its financial viability.

Central to the new design is an increase in the proportion of housing, from 76 to 88 per cent, while the bulk of the two residential blocks - which sit over the top of the library - has been reduced.

These residential units will vary from one to three bedrooms and will all include balconies either looking out or looking in over a landscaped garden.

This space has increased - with resulting benefits for daylighting - due to the reduction in the bulk of the residential units.

According to AHMM, the balconies will also 'oscillate' in colour from yellow to green, while the facade will be made up 'not of brick', but of a panelled finish with variable colouring.

Key elements of the library and learning centre will be a transparent double-height entrance and a new public lecture theatre, which will command views of Barking Town Hall.

The project is a joint venture for client Urban Catalyst and construction partner Wates.

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