This project, developed for Dorrington Properties, illustrates the growing range of Squire and Partners'portfolio and the practice's particular interest in conversion and regeneration. The site is on the Regent's Canal, behind Kingsland Road in Hoxton, an area of former industrial and warehouse buildings with scope for reuse and the generation of new activity. At present, the canal is largely inaccessible from nearby residential areas.
Most of the site is occupied by a handsome 1920s concreteframed warehouse block, designed by Robert Sharpe (betterknown for the Bluebird Building in Chelsea), which will be retained and converted to offices and live/work units, with later additions removed. In place of the clumsy top floor added in the 1980s, a new lightweight, two-storey glazed pavilion will be constructed, a counterpoint to the solidity of the existing structure.
On the site of the existing loading bay, a slender nine-storey tower, containing apartments and live/work spaces, will be constructed, with cafe, gallery and other public facilities in a double-height space at canal level.The facades of the tower are designed to take advantage of fine views out to north and south and to provide a benign internal environment - stone and lead panels form the cladding on the east and west elevations.
The new building balances solidity and transparency, innovation and a concern for the industrial toughness of the canalside context.