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
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.