Apex Gardens

Apex Gardens

Architect
John McAslan + Partners

3DReid
Location
London, UK | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Apartments
Stories By
John McAslan + Partners

3DReid
Robert Waters

Apex House

John McAslan + Partners as Design Concept Architect

“Alongside the construction of a 23-storey tower in the height of the pandemic the team were asking questions about how we want to live and work in the future through the lens of Apex Gardens. What would it be like? Is there enough amenity space? Would residents feel isolated? Does it offer safe social spaces?  

We believe Apex Gardens passes this test. These 163 high-quality, high-density homes form a balanced and mixed community which provide a positive contribution to the surrounding neighborhoods. A holistic development approach ensures that this is a key site for the regeneration of Tottenham”,

- Associate Director Heather Macey at John McAslan + Partners who led on design of Apex House

 

Tenure blind housing to revitalise Tottenham
Apex House, a high-quality regeneration project, is a cluster of three inter-connected brick-clad buildings rising to a peak of 23-storeys over the junction of Seven Sisters Road and Tottenham High Road in north London. Together, a 23-storey tower, a six and a four-storey block form a residential landmark centred on a new piazza comprising 163 apartments, sixty per cent for the private rental sector and forty per cent affordable housing. The residential-led project may also incorporate a new Seven Sisters market, reviving a much-loved local institution.

photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography

Marking the first phase of the Seven Sisters Regeneration Project, Apex House is a prominent structure designed to be seen from different aspects from surrounding streets. Presenting a slim profile to Tottenham High Road, it broadens out along Seven Sisters Road with apartments in the four-storey block set above retail units including space for an indoor market. Residents are projected to spend an annual £3.4 million in local shops.

photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography

The Design
With a clearly defined base, articulated edges and a carefully considered roofscape, the sculpted volumes of Apex House contribute architectural variety to a streetscape defined by the straight lines of two particularly busy arterial roads. At the same time, the scale and massing of the buildings allows for a high density of housing with a maximum number of dual-aspect apartments and private balconies. Roof terraces offer residents views across the city in all directions.

photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography

The concrete frames of Apex House are clad in brick. In two tones and with a variety of patterns, these animate the structure while reflecting the use of brick as a common building material in the Seven Sisters district. The structure is notable for its innovative and extensive use of ultra-high-performance fibre reinforced concrete panels (UHPFRC). Thin and light, these feature cast brick slips allowing rapid construction without the need for hand-laying and setting bricks.

photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography

This system is described by the project team as incredibly efficient compared to typical pre-cast using 1/3-1/2 of typical concrete. For example, quality control and buildability are much higher with this method of construction when compared to trying to hand setting bricks 25 storeys up on a windy road in Tottenham. More than 290 labourers employed directly worked on the site.

photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography

Apex House has been commissioned by Grainger plc, founded in 1912 and, today, the UK’s largest residential rental landlord. Along with fully furnished modern flats, the development provides residents with superfast wi-fi, a 24-hour gym, parcel storage, a residents’ lounge and a co-working area. Sited two minutes from Seven Sisters London Underground station (Oxford Circus in under 20 minutes) and served by several bus routes, Apex House has provision for numerous bicycles but no car parking reflecting the lifestyle choices of a younger generation of Londoners in 2021.

photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography
photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography
photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography
photo_credit Hufton + Crow Photography
Hufton + Crow Photography
Caption

3DReid complete Grainger’s Apex Gardens

3DReid as Executive Architect

Graingerhas completed its latest build to rent schemein Seven Sisters, North London. 3DReid were delighted to develop the design, vary the planning approval and deliver the project with the contractor; Ant Yapi.

The scheme provides 163 high quality rental homes, a range of resident amenities and flexible commercial space.

photo_credit Robert Waters
Robert Waters

Following Planning approval, 3DReid performed a design audit for Grainger and were subsequently appointed to develop both the revised planning submission and the tender design.

photo_credit Robert Waters
Robert Waters

The initial design audit added value through:

  • removal of the basement area
  • reduction of the overall building height
  • improving plan efficiencies with regards layout & servicing
  • reducing the plan size for all buildings
  • revisiting the delivery of the facade.
photo_credit Grainger
Grainger

3DReid werenovated and generated further value by exploring a number of different façade systems including:

  • traditional hand set bricks
  • brick slip systems
  • precast concrete with brick slips
  • GRC with brick slips
photo_credit Grainger
Grainger

The scheme was ultimately delivered usingan Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) precast panel (100mm thick) with brick slips, in comparison to a standard panel which is over 30% thicker.This ensured that whole floors were complete and weather tight following the window installation very quickly, improving the overall programme, as well as the façade depth, detail and building weight.

photo_credit Grainger
Grainger

BIM has been used extensively on Apex Gardensto coordinate with the wider team. In addition, the model has been shared with suppliers including the structural façade brick panels (Thorp Precast).

photo_credit Grainger
Grainger

The contractor and consultant team have used Revitzo to interrogate and comment in 4D, although 3DReid also use NavisWorks widely for clash resolution and co-ordination.

By working closely with the panel supplier and main contractor in a 4D environment, we have enabled the ease of adoption of design changes to the project.

photo_credit Grainger
Grainger

Following the tragic events at Grenfell, the main envelope insulation was amended to Rockwool, resulting in an increased wall depth to achieve the same thermal performance. Working closely with Thorp Precast we devised a thinner wall solution and changed the building’s design to suit this new approach, assisting the contractor to incorporate a new system they had not previously adopted, all without the need to go back into planning, saving the client expense and the contractor programme delays.

photo_credit Grainger
Grainger

As the scheme is designed as Build to Rent, the resulting BIM model will be released at completion for the client to adopt and integrate into their O&M manual, with all building fabric data retained within the model, assisting with repair and maintenance strategies and reordering of components and fittings as required.

photo_credit Grainger
Grainger
photo_credit 3DReid
3DReid
photo_credit 3DReid
3DReid

Material Used :
1. Façade Precast Panels: Thorp Precast Ltd
2. Windows, Doors and Curtain Walls Manufacturer: Archiclad

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Project Credits
Design Concept Architect
Executive Architect
Structural Engineer
Contractors
Project Managers
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
Windows, Doors and Curtain Walls ManufacturerArchiclad
Product Spec Sheet
Windows, Doors and Curtain Walls Manufacturer
Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States
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