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pH+ lands Grand Union Canal scheme

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Up-and-coming practice pH+ has finally won permission for this mixed-use 40-flat scheme on a derelict industrial site next to the Grand Union Canal in Hackney, East London

The £6.5 million development in Orsman Road was approved following a public inquiry and features gabion walls, soils pads, climbing plants and a Cor-ten steel ‘carapace’.

Practice founder Andy Puncher said the scheme, which was submitted for planning in late 2007 and also houses commercial space, draws from the ‘post-industrial materials of the site’.

Describing the ‘green’ canal-side facade, he said: ‘The built character of the site is one of dereliction and decay, unresponsive to sporadic human occupation. The dilapidation of the buildings has, however, given opportunity to other inhabitants: the cracks, holes and roughness of ageing industrial materials provides a foothold to the plants and animals struggling to keep their place in the impermeable urban landscape.

‘Gabion walls will simultaneously offer the porosity required to allow nature to inhabit the scheme… and further integrate the scheme contextually and environmentally with its surroundings.’

The project is backed by developer City and Suburban Homes.

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