Studio mch architects have designed this iconic building for a prominent irregularly shaped plot of approximately 0.07 hectares on the western side of Kentish Town Road, immediately to the north of Regent’s Canal, with the canal towpath running alongside it.
The site is in the Camden Town Special Policy Area and Archaeological Priority Area and is a designated Metropolitan Site of Nature Conservation Importance designation. Some of the surrounding buildings have significant historic value.
The mixed use workplace and residential building is arranged as a pair of linked blocks describing an L shape on plan. One block faces Kentish Town Lock the other Kentish Town Road.
At its highest point, at the Kentish Town Road end of the site, the building is six storeys tall. The top two residential storeys are set well back to minimise the impact of the facade on the street and to relate to the height of the adjoining proposed Hawley Wharf scheme. Towards the canal the building steps down to four storeys, also with the top storeys set well back.
Each residence has private external space provided by balconies or terraces. The first four residential floors of the building are in brick articulated by windows with sizes determined by a regular grid. The two set back upper floors are clad in zinc. The regularity and style of the facade responds to the canal side architecture and warehouse typology. Within the grid the window sizes are varied with the addition of metal panels, adding variety and expressing the interior layout.
37 residential units are proposed. The majority of units face south and east with five dwellings facing west. Two residential cores are provided. Both are accessed from Kentish Town Road. One serves the block facing the canal, the other the block fronting Kentish Town Road. This makes the most efficient use of the floor area and avoids long corridors and single aspect dwellings.
A wildflower sedum roof will improve biodiversity, providing a quiet habitat. Other lower roofs are used as garden terraces for the apartments. The building responds to the both the formality of the nearby-proposed Hawley Wharf buildings and the formal rigour of local warehouse buildings as well as the character and appearance of the Regent’sCanal Conservation Area.
The employment space at ground and basement has been designed to allow forflexibility of tenure. A sunken courtyard to the rear has been created to provide natural light to basement spaces.