David Chipperfield and Karakusevic Carson
granted permission for Hackney towers


News: London architecture firms Karakusevic Carson and David Chipperfield have been granted planning permission for two hexagonal towers on an estate in the city's borough of Hackney (+ slideshow).

The Colville Phase 3

The scheme by Karakusevic Carson Architects and David Chipperfield Architects will add 198 homes to the Colville Estate – the third phase of Hackney Council's regeneration strategy for the area.

Two brick-clad towers, reaching 16 and 20 storeys, will form a gateway to the estate from the corner of nearby Shoreditch Park.

The Colville Phase 3

"It has been a fantastic collaboration; the buildings form a vital part of the Colville Masterplan, creating a natural entrance to the newly regenerated neighbourhood," said Karakusevic Carson Architects partner Paul Karakusevic.

The Colville Phase 3

The hexagonal floor plans offer the option of three to six units per storey, with large balconies on three sides maximising views over the park to the south and Regent's Canal to the north.

The Colville Phase 3

Double-height areas on the ground floors will be taken up by entrance lobbies and a cafe, with full-height glazed facades allowing visual connections between different parts of the site.

The Colville Phase 3

Both towers will house a mix of one and two-bed apartments, while three-bed penthouses will have access to private terraces. A single story basement will accommodate 39 car parking spaces.

The Colville Phase 3

Karakusevic Carson Architects and David Chipperfield Architects won a competition to design the proposal for phase three of the site in 2012.

The Colville Phase 3

The redevelopment of the Colville Estate involves the construction of 438 affordable homes, which the pair of towers will help to cross-subsidise.

The Colville Phase 3

David Chipperfield has also been appointed to redesign London department store Selfridges' east side and is creating a New York flagship store for fashion house Valentino.

The Colville Phase 3
Neighbourhood street sketch
The Colville Phase 3
Site plan – click for larger image
The Colville Phase 3
Typical floor plans – click for larger image
  • Kris

    Oh Chipps, what are you doing man.

  • Hackney resident

    Affordable homes? Affordable for who? Original Hackney residents continually pushed out in the name of gentrification. Disgusting.

    • Hackney Council spokesperson

      ‘Affordable’ is not specific enough: these towers pay to rebuild 348 Council homes for social renting that are deteriorating and it’s more cost-effective to redevelop than keep on maintaining them, plus 138 shared ownership as well as the private sale ones.

      • Romain_M

        Hey! Good to see people involved with the project writing a few lines in the comments section! Any words on the aesthetics?

    • Que

      ‘Original residents’ are not being pushed out. Original residents are the ones benefiting from the huge rise in prices in Hackney. Assuming you own and don’t rent of course, but then how many people born and raised in Hackney rent?

  • Captian Spanky and the pancake

    Love Chipperfield but these are a throwback to the 60’s blocks that we should be moving on from now. What is there to like in these? The curved ground floor arches? Very sad. Does Chipperfield even go into work these days?

    • LC

      It just literally reminds me of the British Brutalist buildings in the 60s and 70s. I think the old ones look fantastic, but a new one with a similar style is not a funny thing.

  • noel douglas

    “The redevelopment of the Colville Estate involves the construction of 438 affordable homes, which the pair of towers will contribute to.”

    So two, unremarkable and quite ugly tower blocks will ‘contribute’ to 438 ‘affordable’ homes. Do architects and those who plan our cities care about the damage London’s ongoing cleansing of the poor and workers will have on the city and it’s residents who need housing that they can afford?

    Karakusevic Carson and David Chipperfield, you are creating ugly designs for a city that is increasingly becoming a playground for the rich. I hope you enjoy the profiting in other peoples’ misery.

    • Kris

      Comment etiquette chaps, keep it to under three lines.

    • Hackney Council spokesperson

      Towers pay to rebuild 348 Council homes for social rent and 138 shared ownership. Current ones deteriorating, so it’s more cost-effective than refurbishment.

      • Kris

        If you were asked to put a price on displacement would it be 348 new council homes?

      • spec

        You wrote that several times already. Please specify the price for the tenants (not just the council) and how it relates to their previous rents. Thanks.

  • mitate

    Perhaps he is doing this by way of antidote to his Nobel building. Whatever it is, his heroic days are now over. Sad.

  • Hazel Zebulon

    Affordable my a*se. Affordable to those who have already pushed out existing Hackney residents for the joys of gentrification.The poor are no longer picturesque vignettes for the gawping society, they’re in the way of property developers’ aggressive, social cleansing and profiteering. Communities and families dismantled and estate agents laugh all the way to the bank.

    • Hackney Council spokesperson

      The term ‘affordable’ is unhelpful: these towers pay to rebuild 348 Council homes for social renting that are deteriorating and it’s more cost-effective to redevelop
      than keep on maintaining them, plus 138 shared ownership as well as the private sale ones.

      • Kris

        I think the issue is that it is no longer enough for the towers to create capital for the reproduction of 348 council homes. Reproducing the homes is not the right attitude, it is the ‘displacement’ of the embedded community that is the real issue. Developments like these inflate the affordable to the unaffordable.

        • Get Informed!

          There will not be any displacement of community. The Colville Estate Tenent and Residents Association have been consulted throughout the development of the whole estate masterplan and they form a strong part of the client body, alongside Hackney Council.

          The people who live there want new homes, and they are going to get them. There will be a phased decant allowing all residents who wish to stay on the estate to do so. Perhaps you should get informed before jumping on your high horse ;-)

          • Kris

            Check back with me in two years ;) sounds like standard developer BS we are accustom too.

  • rp

    Other proposals were better than this chipper-dated idea.

  • Alun

    It looks appropriately Japanese, complete with tile cladding. All it needs is the inclusion of A/C condensers and washing hanging rails. This seems to be the way things go if we are to house anybody anywhere near central London: diminutive, dormitory units that are the hallmark of a Japanese city.

  • Que

    I like it. Not every new building has to have an original distinctive form. Sometimes a simplistic, well finished and well planned building is right and Chipperfield has a track record of achieving this.

  • As far as the profit-driven real estate industry would permit, these towers are thoughtfully planned and honest to their context, that’s it. If it was designed by an obscure firm, no one would even talk about it.

  • Alex Leslie

    Ill conceived throwback to the worst of the 60s. Miserable and uninspired.

  • Nick

    Wow, not quite over the brutal thing across the pond? They look like sentinels in some unpleasant future that seems to be arriving now. At least they can see out.

    We try to avoid that over here: http://www.dezeen.com/2014/06/10/sugar-hill-housing-david-adjaye-harlem-new-york/

  • R2D2

    Did they really have to call Chipperfield and Karakusevic Carson to do this?! Between ugly and average.

  • dan

    Yes they have a definite sense of 60s Brutalism, but they have clearly been brought up to date and if the detailing is done as well as you might expect they will be better that any of the other high-rise residential towers since then.

    Of course there will always be arguments against building towers at all, but you have to wonder how people expect the council to provide homes for its tenants without the budget to do so, and clearly the density of a tower maximises their generation of funds.

    Then there’s the gentrification debate. What do you expect to happen in places like Hackney as central London becomes ever larger, and how do you propose counteract it? It’s all very well jumping on the bandwagon, but nobody seems to have offered any viable alternatives to the criticisms of the project.

    But then the readership of Dezeen can probably count itself responsible for much of the gentrification of Hackney anyway.

    I like the towers and the Brutalist nod – the locals can count themselves very lucky they don’t have another of the City Road jokes like Canaletto, Lexicon or Bezier.

  • DeeKeeGee

    Unbelievably ugly. Probably described as Russian Marxist architecture. Alternatively, could be seen as something from Ceaușescu’s regime in Romania. Glad to see Hackney’s planners place design so high on their agenda!

  • Joseph Brown

    Check out this video to see how Karakusevic Carson liaised with the Colville estate residents association during the design of Bridport House (opposite side of the road to these towers) http://vimeo.com/44320081

  • davidrushe

    Superb plans and really decent layout in the apartments. Very clean and clear language at play. The materially is beautiful. If the end product can embody the spirit and warmth of the images it will be the most positive addition to London’s skyline in recent years.

  • Julio

    Does this deserve to be on an architectural website?

  • londonresiarch

    Not much a fan of the relentless external appearance, but perhaps that’s the price of a rigorous plan? It has to be said that portrait windows in stock brick is a bit overdone these days.

    I’d like to know how they got away with not having the infamous lifetime homes bathroom, which is the bane of my life.

  • Urban Grain

    I would think that a denser and lower development would be more appropriate than two tall buildings in the middle of a hard landscape of dead land.

    Didn’t we learn that lesson? Reinforcing the urban grain and the street landscape, giving opportunities to smaller businesses to establish in more and smaller spaces and having a lower impact on the park and the surrounding buildings. The site plan seems unrelated to the context, with two hexagonal blobs landed from the sky. Hasn’t anyone opposed this in the planning process? I can imagine the wind channels between the two towers!