Pembury Place / Hackney

Pembury Place in Hackney is a development of 30 units of shared-ownership, accommodation on the site of a former construction compound in Hackney for the Peabody Housing Association. The redevelopment of the former construction compound provided the first opportunity for a new building on the estate and a chance to forge a fresh urban identity. The shape, scale and orientation of the scheme complement and complete the existing pattern of built and unbuilt spaces on the estate.

Each of the 30 units benefits from generous balconies and glazing, ensuring a fluid interaction with the landscape. Supported by prefabricated concrete columns, the timber-clad ground floor plinth mirrors the site boundary with five storeys of housing above. The flats are accessed from external walkways along the eastern elevation of the building, which is served by a central stair core. The flat interiors are designed with an open-plan living and dining area that is dual-aspect, allowing natural cross-ventilation. The bedrooms are situated along the eastern elevation to benefit from the morning sun. As the site is narrow and overlooked deep balconies were purposefully designed on the western elevation; they have full height glazing protected by mesh screens, which helps to balance the conflict between the need for openness, daylight and air, as well as the need for privacy.

The challenge for us at Pembury Place was not only to meet the constraints imposed by the narrow, overlooked site, but to create a development that people would want to invest in through shared equity, within the centre of an estate that has a history associated with crime. Good design, which combines security with openness and transparency, has made these units extremely popular and all were sold off plan.

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