Peabody and Haworth Tompkins granted permission for new live/work creative hub in Hackney Wick

The London Legacy Development Corporation has granted planning permission to Peabody for a new all-in-one development designed by Haworth Tompkins, to provide hundreds of new homes and support London’s creative and technological entrepreneurs.

The development is on the site of a disused warehouse fronting the Hertford Union Canal in Hackney Wick East London, opposite the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and works have now started on site.

Haworth Tompkins have designed 408 units within the phased site, known as Fish Island Village, which comprises 13 buildings, and includes a range of one, two, three and four bedroom homes as well as communal areas and public squares.

Together with adjacent sites designed by Pitman Tozer and Lyndon Goode Architects, and high-quality landscaping by Farrer Huxley Associates, Fish Island Village will provide 580 homes to rent and buy. The scheme also includes 5,300 square metres of workspace, of which 4,500 square metres will be operated by The Trampery, a London-based social enterprise that designs and operates spaces to drive entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

The buildings are arranged to form new courtyards, whilst overlooking the canal, streets, a public square or garden, informing a series of building types and in line with the materials of the surrounding warehouses.

Addressing Lofthouse Square at the Eastern end of the site and Smeed Gardens on the Western end are concrete frame buildings with brick infill, which provide a strong civic presence. Responding to the canal, the language adapts to a wharf typology with articulated brick piers and projecting metal balconies. These sit next to brick buildings with regular sized punched openings, articulated by concrete lintels and sills. Together these surface buildings create a central warehouse quarter around Rippoth Road, which runs between both of the courtyard blocks.

Along Wyke Road the stacked maisonettes step back, with entrance bays at the lower levels to achieve a more domestic scale at street level, forming south-facing terraces above. Each of the four building typologies is differentiated by brick tone and reinforced by the texture of the concrete elements used.

Each of the external public spaces has a distinct character. Neptune Yard, the eastern courtyard, is seen as the ‘front door’ for the commercial community and allows spill out from the surrounding workshops, hospitality and retail units. Mezzanines have been incorporated into the ground floor commercial spaces to provide flexibility and maximise floorspace.

By contrast, the neighbouring Rippoth Yard is more private with softer landscaping, play spaces and direct connections with the flats above to encourage shared residential use. Smeed Gardens and three shared roof top terraces provide additional shared external amenity space. All homes have private amenity space as well in the form of balconies or terraces. The canalside and Lofthouse Square to the east provide public civic spaces within the development.

The mixed tenure residential accommodation includes flats, maisonettes and wheelchair accessible homes of one, two, three and four bedrooms. All have either street or canal side entrances, which are shared in the case of the flats, or directly off the street for the ground floor maisonettes.

Fish Island Village is part of an ambitious plan to revive this site in East London and to engage the vibrant artistic community while creating much needed homes and affordable workspaces to help build on the thriving creative industries at Fish Island.

Vanessa Coetzee, Senior Development Manager, Peabody, said:

“With the combined expertise of our design team including Haworth Tompkins, Pitman Tozer and Lyndon Goode Architects, Fish Island Village will add to the unique quality and distinct character of the area, providing high-quality new homes, great open spaces, and new business opportunities for residents, visitors and workers.”

Graham Haworth, Director and Founding Partner of Haworth Tompkins, said:

“We are looking forward to starting work on this exciting project alongside Peabody, Pitman Tozer Architects, Lyndon Goode and The Trampery. The buildings we will create at Fish Island Village take their inspiration from the simple robust warehouses and factories of the industrial era, a time of huge success and expansion for companies in east London. Our buildings will provide the modern-day start-up entrepreneurs in Hackney Wick with a place to live, a place to work, shared facilities and support that will help them with the exciting challenge of growing creative businesses.