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42 PROJECT REPORT: RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS


CONTRASTS


Brightly coloured balconies make a dramatic impact on the dark facade and can be seen from far and wide All images © aLL Design


Primary colours


The external design of the scheme was revamped by aLL, with an eye-catching combination of grey brick mix, and balconies – plus solid aluminium Velfac facade panels – picked out in bright primary colours. One tower has bright yellow accents, the other has a vibrant orange. Atlee explains the decision to go for bold colours: “We extended the use of colour so the project stands out in the sea of new resi towers in Canary Wharf and Millharbour.” The sharply detailed exterior is finished by window frames precision-matched to the brickwork. Atlee is right in saying the patches of bright colour on the dark facades make “a dramatic impact.” The balconies, which have been transformed from grey in the original scheme, are “distinctive in long range views such as from Greenwich Park as well as locally,” their vertical PPC fin railings running around exposed concrete slabs.


The architects needed to take a pragmatic, performance-based approach to materials specification for the facades, although the project was specified pre-Grenfell, but it was also one which realised aesthetic goals. Atlee explains: “When we took on the project there were elements of the elevations that were not suitable for use over 18 metres. So we


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changed to a U-profiled glass from Reglit, and changed the panels to Velfac. These high-gloss panels also had the benefit of “a much cleaner detail, much higher finish and better longevity.’’


The brick specification for the facades was meticulous, and required a determined search for the right variety. “In the planning application, the brick mix was a light grey and a darker grey,” says Atlee, “and we found it quite hard to find.” They finally arrived at a Hagemeister mix of a dark grey and an iridescent, which would give the effect of a lighter grey overall. As the resulting mix reflects light it also makes the facades’ appearance alter through the course of the day. Atlee adds: “It was difficult to find a grey without brown or purple tones. Because we were using bright colours we felt it had to be something monochrome.” She says supplier Modular Clay Products “were really helpful in finding what we were looking for.” Atlee says she is very happy with the


result, and that the design team chose full brick rather than brick slip alternatives for this project. She says: “There was an early proposal to use a render-applied brick tile, however after visiting another site and viewing samples the architects “resisted it, as it really didn’t look good.” She adds: “Swift, the brickwork subcontractor were excellent, and as the building is all about


ADF MARCH 2019


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