THE VISION FOR BAGEL FACTORY IS FOR A REAL COMMUNITY WHERE PEOPLE LIVE, WORK AND PLAY. THIS DEVELOPMENT BALANCES RESIDENTIAL APARTMENTS WITH WORKSPACES FOR SMALL CREATIVE BUSINESSES, ALL ORGANISED AROUND A WELCOMING CENTRAL CAFÉ.
This mixed-use development, in partnership with Aitch Group and Mura Estates, offers 55 residential units and 2,160 sqm of flexible employment space, aimed at creative industries. The site is Hackney Wick, one of the brownfield areas designated for development by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).
A residential area from Victorian times to the 1950s, Hackney Wick became increasingly industrial from the 1960s onwards. Today, the local landscape is a mix of historic warehouses and light industrial buildings, increasingly punctuated by galleries, cafes, bars and clubs as the creatives of Shoreditch move further east in search of new spaces to live, work and play in.
The post-Olympic vision is for a balanced neighbourhood of sustainable homes, workspaces and community facilities. In the regenerated Hackney Wick, residents will enjoy a strong infrastructure, good transport links, safe and pleasant streets, and the green spaces of Victoria Park and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, both under 10 minutes’ walk away.
A light-industrial bagel factory occupied the development site. This was replaced by a six-storey building that draws on Hackney Wick’s industrial heritage – its simple elevations of pale brick and full-height windows a modern update on traditional warehouses.
Workspace units are split over the ground and first floors, with windows and doors creating an active frontage along the perimeter of the site. This encourages people to look out of, and into, the building, creating visual interest and interaction with the community. Perforated metal screens give business tenants additional flexibility and privacy.
Above the commercial units will be 55 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. These residential units have been designed with generous space and height, and meet level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Because the workspace is geared towards small and medium-sized creative businesses – the new commercial lifeblood of the area – we have designed the building around a ‘creative quarter’. This café and its outdoor terrace are a bustling hub at the heart of the site, a shared space where creatives and residents can mingle.
Residents enjoy additional communal outdoor space on the second floor and roof terrace. Business users, meanwhile, have access to a commercial yard at the rear of the building, where they can hold meetings and events, or simply relax. The development is designed for urban users and pedestrians and is therefore car-free, but has ample cycle storage for residents and tenants.
We wanted the building to look completely at home in its surroundings, so its design and materials have been carefully considered. Simple but robust elevations have subtle changes of depth, creating a dynamic and animated façade. Pale bricks reference the area’s architectural heritage, and give a strong structure and grid. Windows, balconies and terraces break up the facade and create a mix of textures. The perforated metal screens are crafted from Alunzinc, adding lightness, texture and gleam to the exterior. European oak brings warmth via doors and entrances, and powder-coated aluminium window frames harmonise with the soft tones of the building.