array(0) { }

Blackhorse Tower

Blackhorse Tower

As a means of delivering high density residential accommodation allied to a mixture of uses on a peripheral brownfield site, Blackhorse Tower is emblematic of the development challenges currently confronting London. Located at Blackhorse Road station in Walthamstow, the site lies at the northern end of the Victoria line where it meets the overground. Its proximity to tube and rail stations presented a considerable design and structural engineering challenge in terms of situating and anchoring foundations. As result, the building footprint of snakes across the site to avoid impinging on the underground lines.

A quartet of 30 storey point blocks are connected by open lift shafts to minimise overshadowing of neighbouring buildings. Duplex apartments are efficiently planned to optimise natural light and views out over the surrounding reservoirs. The intermediate storeys of the development contain a hotel and spa, with parking and retail units at ground floor level to animate the public realm. A dual cantilevered swimming pool, believed to be the world’s first, forms a bravura set piece element poised between blocks.

Taking advantage of scale and repetition, the blocks employ modular forms of construction to cut building times. Ventilation panels set in the crisply geometric facades encourage natural ventilation and so reduce energy use. As the tower straddles the tube station a new exit will provide direct access to it, consolidating a quick and easy connection with central London. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £71M
Location Walthamstow, London
Client HM Developments
Date 2017
Area 14,000 m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service Architects for the feasibility study for this plot working with planning authority and politicians establishing the height potential of this site.

German Student Micro Living

German Student Micro Living

Paul McAneary Architects were appointed to provide accommodation for 5000 students across Germany on city centre sites from Kiel in the north to Munich in the south. The aim of the project is to remodel and adapt existing redundant buildings of the post-war era in an efficient and economical manner.

Each building is stripped back to its structural frame and effectively redesigned. Borrowing techniques from yacht design, in which function is paramount and space standards squeezed to an absolute minimum, bedroom are compactly but ingeniously planned. Though necessarily small, at 10 sqm per unit, bedrooms are augmented by more generous areas of communal space to encourage social interaction.

Within each unit, the considered application of design techniques such as shadow gaps, lighting and mirrors mitigates the compressed scale to create a highly civilised environment for studying and sleeping. Through the use of 150 mm shadow gaps, furniture appears to ‘float’ off the floor, and the furniture itself draws inspiration from classic Bauhaus models with elegant metal frames, so rooms are not dominated by bulky furniture.

Materials are carefully selected to require minimal maintenance and actually improve with use and age. Taking advantage of prefabrication, bathrooms are modular pods, with a simple plumbing connection that slots quickly and neatly into each unit. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £350M
Location Kiel, Bremen, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Germany
Client DREF
Date 2014-2017
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design, interior design, lighting design, glazing design, furniture design, 3D visualisation, Creation of Design Brand Manual for Design Implementation

African Nearly Zero Housing

African Nearly Zero Housing

In the Nigerian capital Abuja, Paul McAneary Architects were commissioned to design three different housing types: a single house, block of flats and a terrace. The aim is to make use of abundant but disregarded materials, such as stone and tropical hardwood, and cultivate a strategy of passive environmental control and ‘near zero’ energy use.

Residential development in Nigeria is characterised by a dependence on inappropriate and wasteful models more suited to a temperate European climate. By responding more thoughtfully to context and climate, this radical project reconceptualises the existing approach to housing provision in a way that could act as a prototype for future development across Nigeria.

Quarried stone, which would more usually be used in road building, is caged in steel gabions to form massive external walls. Tropical hardwood, traditionally used to make concrete formwork and then discarded, is salvaged to make external elements, such as window frames. Boreholes provide a natural source of water, which also helps to cool the interior, while hot air is dispelled through the stack effect, rising through the central atrium of each dwelling.

These natural means of ventilation and cooling sever the reliance on energy-wasteful air conditioning. Communal solar power plants provide energy, supplanting profligate diesel generators. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value Undisclosed
Location Abuja, Nigeria, Africa
Client Undisclosed
Date Current
Area Undisclosed
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design, interior design, landscape design, structural design, 3D visualisation