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East Wick

East Wick

2014-Present

One of the aims for East Wick has been to create the most sustainable community in the UK, and to make this a place where everyone, whatever their situation, can live and work sustainably.

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One of the aims for East Wick has been to create the most sustainable community in the UK, and to make this a place where everyone, whatever their situation, can live and work sustainably.
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Strategy

East Wick defines the western edge of the Queen Elizabeth Park and plays an important role in mending the gap in the urban fabric between Hackney Wick and the Olympic Legacy communities. After 2012, the area saw an influx of investment as part of the Olympic Games’ legacy masterplan, and East Wick, together with Sweetwater further south, forms part of the Wider Legacies Communities Scheme.

Location:
London, UK
Client:
Balfour Beatty
Places for People
Role:
Urban Designer and Architect
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We inherited an existing masterplan by Allies and Morrison – the Olympic Legacy Masterplan – and, working with Sheppard Robson, we evolved this to strengthen the area’s identity and sense of place. We wanted the landscape to play more of a role throughout the site and to add character through the setting of the buildings. We’ve brought in a sense of history and context, and stitched the new neighbourhoods together.

As well as our role on the masterplan, we’ve played a placemaking and co-ordination role for the outline planning application for East Wick and Sweetwater, which has included curating the work of five other architects.

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Specificity

The first phase includes 850 homes – townhouses, mews houses, studios and flats – as well as a new primary school and two new nurseries. The site is immediately adjacent to Here East, which was once the Press and Broadcast Centres for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and is now London’s new creative campus for innovation. This juxtaposition of homes and a large-scale legacy venue is repeated across East Wick and Sweetwater, with domestic development embracing and carefully framing the grandeur of the Olympic venues that remain on the site.

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The character of the neighbourhoods celebrates the light industrial heritage of the area with imperfect, robust steel frames, an emphasis on planting and moments of colour, and opportunities for local artistic street expression.

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Three of the buildings, providing around 200 new homes, use a pre-fabricated lightweight steel primary structure, a system which reduces sub-contractors and trades on site, increases speed of delivery and reduces the overall weight – an important consideration in light of the Elizabeth Line tunnels below ground.

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East Wick on site

A new diagonal link provides a glimpse to the Velodrome in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and in the opposite direction to the City of London’s iconic skyline. A swathe of the park is pulled into the residential neighbourhood to bring green space to the doorstep of the new homes. The scheme forges new connections, both physically and visually.

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Sustainability

The energy strategy for the first phase of the masterplan follows the London Plan’s Energy Hierarchy approach of using less energy (‘Be lean’), supplying energy efficiently (‘Be clean’), and using renewable energy (‘Be Green’). But we’ve pulled out all the stops to far exceed this. All homes will comply fully with The Fabric Energy Efficiency Standard (FEES) set by the Zero Carbon Hub, which sets the maximum space heating and cooling energy demand for zero-carbon homes.

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One of the aims for East Wick has been to create the most sustainable community in the UK, with a focus on high energy efficiency, low levels of carbon emissions, reduced water use, materials with high recycled content, climate change resilience, and high-quality and diverse public spaces. We’ve worked hard to reduce the impact on the environment during construction and to make this a place where everyone, whatever their situation, can live and work sustainably.

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