CharacteristicsHand-made, reduced water absorption, two colors of bricks made from the same clay, highly frost resistant, class A1 fire reaction
CertificationWinner of Multi-storey development of the year
Hoxton Press on the Colville Estate housing development in Hackney, East London was designed by world-famous architects David Chipperfield Architects and Karakusevic Carson Architects. The towers are constructed using Vande Moortel facing bricks.
|Project||Hoxton Press Towers|
|Client||The London Borough of Hackney - Anthology|
|Architects||Karakusevic Carson Architects, David Chipperfield Architects|
|Contractor||Swift Brickwork Contractors Limited|
|Facing Bricks||Nature10 Brick E, Nature10 Brick S|
|Processing||Stacked bond, color joint|
A new design approach was deemed appropriate for the prominent site facing Shoreditch Park, which was earmarked by Hackney Council for competition. The style of the two towers can be related to the brutalist architecture from the fifties characterized by blocky, geometric and repetitive shapes.
The two, hexagonal, brick-faced buildings are 16 and 20 stories respectively and contain 198 apartments. Carefully positioned on an irregular plot, they create a landscaped space in between that acts as a gateway between the wider estate and the park. The buildings are rotated in relation to one another to maximize daylight, views, and to minimize overlooking and loss of light to neighboring new buildings.
Handmade bricks were used with a different color for each tower. A single brick type, Nature10, is used throughout; fired once to create the red Brick E on the eastern tower and fired twice for the blue/grey Brick S on the western one. The objective of using the same facing bricks in different colors was to give the two towers different identities.
Adopting a stacked bond accentuates the strong architectural character of the two buildings. Time was taken to get the right color of mortar, one that matches the color of each brick used, offering a sculptural appearance and solidity to the towers. The subtle color variation offered by the Vande Moortel hand-made bricks strengthens this view.
Recessed Brick-Lined Balconies
A unique element to the buildings is its balconies. All the balconies are full wrapped in Vande Moortel bricks; from the soffits to the floor. The structural frame of the towers gives each balcony panoramic views of the city. While the solid brick upstands give enough privacy to the residents and define the sculptural volume of the two towers.
It was of great importance that the floors of the balconies would maintain unity with the brickwork of the entire building. In collaboration with the architects Brickworks Vande Moortel produced a Brick Paver with reduced water absorption. As a result, the balcony floors look as they should but also have the necessary technical properties.
Brick slips of Vande Moortel facing bricks Brick S and Brick E were used in combination with the SafeSecure® brick cladding system of Bulmer Brick Cutting. The system enables the use at height of vertical, horizontal and inverted soffit brick-clad panels. The SafeSecure® brick cladding panels are employed in the hanging balcony soffits and arched curved internal vaulted ceilings to the ground floor foyers & basement garage entrances. These vaulted soffits bridge the core and the first-floor slabs and allow the exterior brick-clad façades of the towers to appear as a continuum of the vaults and the nine supporting brick clad columns at the base of the building.