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Adam Khan and muf win approval to overhaul Hackney estate

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Adam Khan Architects’ proposals for the redevelopment of a council estate in Hackney have been handed planning approval

The project, which has been designed in collaboration with muf architecture/art, includes the demolition of Marian Court in Homerton to make way for five new buildings of between three to 12 storeys.

Backed by Hackney Council, the scheme includes 160 homes arranged around two central courtyards with a new community centre and 751m² affordable workspace.

The development – which includes over 50 per cent affordable units – is the final phase of a wider regeneration project encompassing a second estate, Bridge House, located opposite. 

Earlier outline proposals for the development by Hawkins\Brown, approved in 2012, were shelved following the election of Hackney’s new mayor Philip Glanville, who wanted to increase the number of council homes across the two sites.

The development will also include a new street running between Link Street and Ponsford Street and a garden which residents will be able to access through ’tenure-blind lobbies’ connecting street and garden.

Practice director Adam Khan said: ‘A collaborative, design-led approach established with Hackney Council, Muf, the full design team and the local community is delivering radically inclusive urban renewal and placemaking.’

Liza Fior of muf architecture/art said: ‘The give and take between public realm and buildings, and buildings and public realm is beginning to play out at all scales.

‘When clients on many schemes put their energy into avoiding delivering social housing, it is such a pleasure to work with Hackney whose energies go into maximising council housing and what each project gives to the locality.’

Construction is expected to begin next year and be completed by 2022.

The architect’s view

The scheme comprises five blocks, ranging three to twelve storeys in height, arranged around two central courtyards and a street running east-west between Link Street and Ponsford Street. Conceived as a piece of the city rather than an estate, the repair of edge conditions and neighbourhood fabric and the creation of opportunities for sociability were key. Urbanism, landscape, building, and detail were designed holistically and iteratively.

A set of publicly accessible open spaces - the new street, play garden and work/play yard are accessed by celebratory, tenure-blind lobbies which connect street and garden. The public realm is designed as ’4 metres thick’ with a ground floor of workspace, community hall and kitchen under Council ownership. The footprint of the blocks delineates and responds to the public realm and gardens and a perimeter edge of planting creates places to sit and play.

Carefully crafted thresholds and facades articulate the relationships between the individual and the collective – combining the specificity that creates place and home with a calmly framed background for the neighbourhood. A subtle material palette and a rigorous tectonic exploit honesty and efficiency to achieve variety and delight, referencing a proud history of municipal housing. A civic quality runs through the project at all scales - from shared tenure-blind terraces to the varied balcony configurations, opportunities for sociability are carefully tuned with sunlight, shelter, play and planting. The flat interiors are double aspect with tall ceilings and adaptable room plans that allow for a variety of different living styles.

APPROVED: Adam Khan Architects with muf architecture's designs for Marian Court in Hackney

APPROVED: Adam Khan Architects with muf architecture’s designs for Marian Court in Hackney

APPROVED: Adam Khan Architects with muf architecture’s designs for Marian Court in Hackney

Project data

Client Hackney Council
Architect, main consultant Adam Khan Architects
Public realm, collaborating architect muf architecture/art
Consultation specialist Daisy Froud
Consultant Rob Bevan
M&E, fire, structural engineer MLM
Graphic design Objectif
Lighting design Michael Grubb Studio
Planning consultant Tibbalds
Daylight/sunlight consultant Point2Surveyors
SuDS Robert Bray Associates
Transport consultant Project Centre


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