Integration of industrial and residential mixed use
Location: Hackney Wick, London UK
Wick Lane is a truly mixed use project which takes the distinct character of Hackney Wick as its starting point. Light industrial units, retail and workspace are co-located with 175 homes, set in a pedestrian-friendly landscape of yards and lanes. The six distinct buildings work together to form a new community that is an authentic piece of Hackney Wick.
Landscape Architect Grant Associates
Daylight Anstey Horne
An existing vibrant neighbourhood characterised by Victorian warehouse buildings with a mixture of industrial, creative and residential spaces.
Hackney Wick is known for its thriving community of artists and creative makers in the Victorian warehouses that line the canal in this part of East London. To the south of Wick Lane is designated Strategic Industrial Land (SIL). To the north is the Fish Island conservation area; a vibrant neighbourhood characterised by Victorian warehouse buildings with a mixture of industrial, creative and residential spaces. Our design connects these two distinct areas.
Wick Lane is the distillation of the LLDC’s vision for Hackney Wick & Fish Island within a single site. The qualities and characters that have defined the area have been celebrated within four building typologies that evoke the areas’ proud industrial heritage: a red brick 19th century mill building, 1930s warehousing in black brick, a late 20th century cast glass aesthetic and a contemporary corrugated industrial shed.
Insight: Philip Marsh
The challenge was to balance the amount of employment space required with the amount of residential space needed for financial viability, all whilst maintaining the character of the area.
The conventional wisdom for a brief of this kind would be to juxtapose the uses, locating homes and workspace and industrial uses on different parts of the site. However, in the existing warehouse buildings in the area, these uses happily exist cheek by jowl. We wanted to enhance this spirit. The solution carefully integrates residential and industrial activities using different types of buffer spaces to protect housing from industrial disruption. Employment spaces act as a buffer to the strategic industrial land (SIL) to the south of Wick Lane, with homes set back behind. This allows the SIL to be developed in the future without negatively affecting the Wick Lane residents.
Wick Lane is a labour of love for me, since we started the project in 2015. The design offers such a flash of colour, it buoys the spirits even on a rainy day. We have also been able to test and develop our thinking for the development of industrial land, creating cohesive and delightful places to both live and work in close proximity.
Insight: Will Howard
Saw-tooth roofs stand alongside flat roofs; reflective corrugated metal cladding next to green profiled cast glass, black engineering brick and vibrant red brickwork.
The scheme is composed of six distinct buildings, each with an individual character, form and material. The buildings reference the neighbourhood’s vibrant history and reconcile the transition between the conservation area and industrial land.
A variety of employment spaces activate and enliven the main street whilst freestanding double-height industrial units are combined with a variety of one, two or three-storey commercial units. Residential accommodation maximises daylight with a high proportion of dual aspect apartments and views to the Greenway. Landscaped public spaces, ‘Wick Walk’ and ‘The Yard’, and residents’ gardens knit the new buildings into their surroundings providing a strong identity and fostering neighbourliness.