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Chowdhury Walk, Hackney

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

Al-Jawad Pike's new generation council homes form a staggered red brick and granite terrace along a new cobbled thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists

Chowdhury Walk.
Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Rory Gardiner

2024 RIBA London Award

Chowdhury Walk, Hackney
Al-Jawad Pike for London Borough of Hackney
Contract value: Confidential
GIA: 1061m2

Chowdhury Walk heralds an ambitious programme of new generation council homes by Hackney Council. The design’s articulated sculptural form gives it a strong, confident presence. It is an infill development of 11 houses that stands between two existing terraces and their gardens, on a plot previously occupied by garages and ad hoc car parking. The architects have arranged the houses in a two-storey staggered terrace, set along a newly created public thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists, with private patio gardens to the rear. Each home is oriented so that its frontage acknowledges the main approach road, while the staggering ensures they do not directly overlook their neighbours. With a mix of two- and three-bedroom houses and one fully accessible four-bedroom home, seven of the units are for social rent and four for private sale.

  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Rory Gardiner
  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Rory Gardiner
  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Rory Gardiner
  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Ståle Eriksen
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Entrance porches are carved out of the plan with granite plinths and planters lining the building frontage. The elevations have a regular rhythm of openings, save for the ‘teacup’ feature window on the main street frontage, signalling this new and contemporary intervention. The overall material palette is constrained - red brick and granite. House numbers are elegantly set into bespoke precast panels.

The newly created route is cobbled with differing patterns demarcating uses. In the main thoroughfare, the cobbles are orthogonally laid, while those adjacent to the boundary wall fall into an arrangement of concentric pools laced with intermittent pockets of planting. These serve as rain gardens and are set within projecting buttresses along the length of the boundary wall. 

  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Rory Gardiner
  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Ståle Eriksen
  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Rory Gardiner
  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Ståle Eriksen
  • Chowdhury Walk.
    Chowdhury Walk. Credit: Rory Gardiner
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The development has engaged with the issues of climate challenge in a positive way, clearly acknowledging all the requirements for both operational and embodied carbon. The homes are constructed in cross laminated timber, which is exposed internally in places. Windows are triple-glazed and the houses have photovoltaics on their mono-pitched roofs. The scheme was well developed before 2019 when the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge was issued, and utilises gas alongside on-site renewables for the energy strategy. As a result of a good fabric efficiency, residents have benefited from a significant improvement in actual versus predicted energy use.

Overall, Chowdhury Walk is an elegant piece of architectural and urban design, providing new homes that are successfully knit into their context - satisfying both resident and passer-by.

See the rest of the RIBA London winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here.

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com.

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor Neilcott Construction

Structural engineer Momentum

Environmental/M&E engineer SGA Consulting

Project management Potter Raper

Landscape architect Periscope

 

Credit: Al-Jawad Pike
Credit: Al-Jawad Pike
Credit: Al-Jawad Pike
Credit: Al-Jawad Pike
Credit: Al-Jawad Pike

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