St Leonard’s Court

St Leonard’s Court

Architect
Child Graddon Lewis
Location
New North Road, London N1, UK | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Apartments
Alan Williams

St Leonard’s Court

Child Graddon Lewis as Architects

Project Summary:

St Leonard’s Court is 71 new homes designed by Child Graddon Lewis for Hackney Council and Countryside Properties, with over 32% affordable. Hallmarked by a tenure-blind design that ensures no visual distinction between private and affordable properties, the development provides the unique opportunity to be part of a true, mixed-tenure community.

The scheme fundamentally promotes the health and wellbeing of its residents. All have universal access to the surrounding picturesque views and the sensory-rich experience created by the shared central courtyard and roof gardens.

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The Design:

St Leonard’s Court is a distinctive contemporary addition to Hackney’s townscape. The tallest block has a unique concave shape that embraces and welcomes the prominent townscape junction.

The collegiate feel of the scheme is designed intentionally to complement the setting for the site’s historical context, comprising a Grade II Listed Church and terrace of listed Georgian properties adjacent to the site. This has informed the scale and materiality of the building, with a palette of alternatively coloured bricks selected throughout to address each neighbouring building.

The development further reinstates housing aligned to the surrounding streets, with front doors and gardens providing additional security – creating a tangible sense of community with a traditional street frontage.

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Collaboration:

An extensive consultation programme ensured the local community connected with the new scheme. The design simultaneously gained strong support from all review panels and Historic England – each praising the justified design approach.

Part of a wider programme of regeneration, the scheme is described by Hackney Council as ‘the embodiment’ of the local authority’s programme to build ‘thousands of high quality homes itself, on its own land, acting as its own developer’.

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Health & Wellbeing:

The variety and quality of the landscaped areas are key features, providing social spaces to enrich the experience of living within the development – including raised beds for residents to grow their own food. Given such an urban site, these spaces provide an oasis of biodiversity for all living within the development.

Each home additionally exceeds national minimum space standards, offering generous, spacious homes.

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Architect’s View:

“St Leonard’s Court manifests as a perimeter building comprised of three distinct, interconnecting blocks. Providing 71 new homes, the development occupies a triangular site in Hackney, East London.  

“Despite its proximity to Old Street Station the immediate context of the site does not feel typical of its location. The adjacent grounds of the Grade 1 Listed St. John the Baptist Church offer a leafy setting for the new development, with the Church itself helping to inform the material palette of the architecture. Each of three blocks take inspiration from their direct context; Block C, the shortest block, is defined by a deep, red brick and reflects the scale and character of the adjacent Finn House along Bevenden Street. Block A offers a contemporary take on a Georgian terrace with Smead Dean London Stock brick sat beneath grey zinc cladding, reflective of the mansard roofs visible further along New North Road. These neighbouring buildings are, again, also listed and define the character of the street. Block B, the tallest of the three blocks rises up to 8 storeys and brings presence and much needed scale to define the corner of Bevenden Street and New North Road."

“Respectful of the adjacent church, the material palette is simple with deep, recessed balconies punctuating the façade. A gentle curve to the east elevation is a reminder of a former roundabout that faced the site and staggered aluminium fins are a subtle addition to animate the facade without appearing overly ornate."

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“The real gem to this new development is hidden within. A large, communal courtyard garden space is sheltered from the outside world by the perimeter buildings. Here a variety of planting is interspersed with seating areas – some secluded and private, others more open and communal. There are informal play spaces as well as an area for outside dining, encouraging a real sense of community and a testament to truly ‘tenure blind’, mixed-tenure living. The central courtyard garden is further complemented by two additional roof top gardens, one atop of Block A and the other above Block C. Here, glimpses of The City remind you of the building’s central location whilst also offering peaceful areas to sit and relax."

“St Leonard’s Court offers a range of homes across multiple tenures, replacing old dilapidated building stock with fit for purpose, modern homes near the heart of The City. The communal courtyard and rooftop gardens provide a unique offering as part of the wider regeneration programme that Hackney Council are undertaking.” 

Andrew Lum, Architect, Child Graddon Lewis

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Supporting Statements:

“I love the sleek design, high-quality finishes, and during lockdown I get to fully appreciate my balcony overlooking the church, as well as the rooftop, where I spend most of my weekends.”

Tryfonas, Resident

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“St Leonard’s Court forms part of our ambitious programme to build new Council homes through an innovative in-house and not-for-profit approach. Huge thanks to Child Graddon Lewis for designing and delivering such an outstanding project.

“Building new Council housing doesn't mean compromising on good design, and we work closely with the design team and the local community in developing the plans, placing a strong emphasis on creating high-quality homes in well-designed buildings.

“This approach means that every resident benefits from great homes, built to excellent space standards and high levels of daylight irrespective of tenure, whilst also designing great estate-based neighbourhoods with usable communal spaces and a balance between privacy and communality.”

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing Supply, Planning, Culture and Regeneration, Hackney Council

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Sustainability Data:

The energy efficiency measures for the development incorporate the following;

  • Highly insulated building fabric
  • High efficiency windows
  • Low air permeability of 5m2/hr/m2 @ 50Pa
  • Energy efficient community heating and domestic hot water via gas boilers and combined heat and power.
  • Energy efficient lighting fittings
  • Photovoltaic panels.
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Conservation of heat is achieved through the following U-values:

  • Walls: 0.15 w/m2k
  • Windows: 1.5 w/m2k
  • Roofs: 0.10 w/m2k
  • Ground: 0.15w/m2

Schedule of Accommodation:

3B5P (Duplex) – 9 units

2B4P – 29 units

2B3P – 2 units

1B2P – 31 units

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Team:

Client: Hackney Council & Countryside Properties

Architect: Child Graddon Lewis

Main Contractor: Countryside Properties

Structural Engineer: Corbett & Tasker

MEP: Ramboll

Landscape: Townshend Landscape Architects

CDM Co-ordinator: Child Graddon Lewis

CAD software used: Revit

Photographer: Alan Williams

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