Strand, Plot R3
Duggan Morris Architects work on two different plots within the proposed Strand East masterplan. The wider masterplan proposes an entirely new neighbourhood in East London. The project, commissioned by Vastint UK, occupies a triangular brownfield site flanked on two sides by tributary arms of the River Lea.
The second plot, R3, is located to the south west of the Strand East masterplan, with a western frontage to Sugar House Lane and an eastern frontage to Three Mills Wall River and Three Mills park. It is envisaged as a collection of three distinct residential blocks, consisting of: Block A, a robust, urban perimeter housing block of four storeys with a set-back fifth floor to the north and south edge, as well as generous communal gardens at ground and rooftop level. The mews enclave, a collection of 3 storey family homes that inhabits the interior of Block A and is arranged around a central ‘yard’. Block B, a linear block of between 5 and 7 storeys that addresses the Three Mills Wall River, with taller accent elements at each end that bookend a subtly cranked central section.
The design has been developed to ensure that the obligatory building lines defined by the parameter master plan have not been exceeded, whilst responding carefully to issues of proximity, outlook, orientation and privacy.
Responding to the context of the emerging masterplan whilst also drawing from analysis of the site’s historic character, the formal language of blocks A, B and the mews have evolved so that the identity of each block is clearly defined in a manner appropriate to its particular scale, profile and position, whilst simultaneously reading collectively as a cohesive fragment of the city. As such, all three blocks will share a common material palette albeit with clear differences in detail and colour.
Physical models of typical units were crafted at a number of scales to interrogate their ongoing design development. The resulting layouts are largely open-plan in style and include area provisions that meet or exceed Housing SPG (2016) minimums whilst also considering issues of proximity, outlook, orientation and privacy.
Plot R3 is surrounded by three different street conditions and therefore ground floor, privacy and entrance issues have been an important focus of design development. Habitable rooms located against the street at ground level have been raised throughout the scheme to ensure privacy and a sense of hierarchy relative to the public realm. Units are accessed from communal cores with street level entrances of generous proportions. Many ground floor units also benefit from a secondary entrance from the street, providing an increased sense of ownership, identity and address.