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FIRST LOOK

pH+ Architects completes ‘sculptural’ canal-side terrace in east London

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The eight-dwelling scheme sited along the Hertford Union Canal reinterprets the language of wharf buildings and the rhythm of nearby Georgian housing

Overlooking Victoria Park, this scheme, designed by pH+ Architects for Earth Residential, continues the scale of adjacent apartment blocks lining the canal, with its distinctive three-storey gabled profile. The simplicity of its forms, with large openings maximising light to interior living spaces, is intended to echo the historic industrial vernacular of the canal area.

The folding rear façade frames vistas along the Hertford Union Canal as well as opening up views over the canal to Victoria Park to the north. In contrast, the front façade is designed to respond to the more ordered fenestration rhythm of the conservation area opposite, its folding planes creating defensible space and defining recessed entrances to each individual dwelling.

200617 ph+ old ford 6701 2

200617 ph+ old ford 6701 2

The serrations are further articulated into the roof form, allowing the creation of private amenity space recessed into the slope of the pitches without impacting on the sculptural wharf form. 

At ground floor level, the terrace and private garden area ensures that a green edge facing the canal is maintained.

200617 ph+ old ford 6781

200617 ph+ old ford 6781

Architect’s view

Replacing a series of derelict storage structures, our Old Ford Road scheme is located on a tight infill site with significant logistical, operational and technical constraints as well as massive opportunities to respond to a context of wharf buildings and Georgian terraces to open up amazing views over Victoria Park and the Hertford Union Canal.

Although we felt it was important to re-establish the historic building line and sense of enclosure to the canal, we worked with BD Landscape Architects on an intense and detailed planting scheme which, when complete, will maximise bio-diversity and optimise habitats by reinstating native flora along this edge. This in turn is supplemented by insect bird and bat roosting boxes within the façade.

We have developed the plan to optimise dual or triple aspect dwellings with views to both the park and street. The folding façade articulates the street elevation to respond to the rhythm of the adjoining terrace, while facilitating the additional view along the Hertford Canal. Terraces and staggered balconies for duplexes on the upper levels inset into the overhanging pleats which, supplemented by cockpit terraces within the roof forms, maximise enjoyment of these vistas while maintaining the privacy of the amenity spaces of the dwellings on the lower levels.

Andy Puncher, founding director, pH+

Ground floor crop

Ground floor plan

Source: pH+ Architects

Ground floor plan

Project data

Start on site October 2017
Completion May 2020
Gross internal floor area 837m² (Net Saleable Area)
Form of contract or procurement route Traditional Procurement Route with Contractor’s Design Portions
Construction cost £2.4 million
Architect pH+
Client Earth Residential
Structural engineer ADS Consultancy
M&E consultant KUT
QS Newtonwood
Landscape consultant BD Landscaping
CDM coordinator Peligro
Approved building inspector Salus
Main contractor MD Construction
CAD software used Vectorworks

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