Chatham Works is the anchor for Hackney Fashion Hub – a new destination with a unique identity in London’s East End. The buildings will contain a mix of apartments on the higher floors, while shops and cafes will animate a lively public realm. Rising to fifteen storeys, the buildings have a strong urban presence – representing the renewal of Hackney – and the gateway for this new creative, social and commercial hub.
Moving away from the idea of a conventional glazed office tower, there are two dominant materials: layered timber and stacked glass bricks, to create tall buildings that have texture and a presence on the street that is expressed urbanistically. Chatham Works is wrapped in a continuous bespoke façade of anodised aluminium frames in a rectangular grid rhythm. The frames are infilled with timber rainscreens of horizontal dark stained and treated timber battens. By playing with the subtleties of revealing and concealing and through the use of layering, the timber clad building is semi-articulated. The second tower is wrapped in glass brickwork set within the same anodised aluminium framing system as the eastern building. It is partly transparent – allowing glimpses of silhouettes and shadows inside. The golden / bronze grid gives both buildings a unifying sense of scale, rhythm and proportion.