Seven Sisters Road, N4
Hackney, London Complete 350 Bedspaces
Winner - LABC London Region Awards 2018 - Best Social or Affordable New Housing Development, Finalist - LABC National Awards 2018, Finalist - London Construction Awards 2018 Sustainable Construction Award & London Build Excellence Award
Hostels are not noted for their glamour, so this was never considered to be an integral aspect of the design. They do, however, provide essential housing to increasing numbers of people and as such are important parts of the urban covenant between local authorities and their inhabitants.
The design replaced an existing hostel with around 40 bed-spaces with a vastly improved proposal which can accommodate up to 346 people. The robust materials used belie their purpose, with respectful living accommodation to provide dignity, security and comfort throughout occupation. High quality finishes are used throughout evoking the design aspirations. The exterior of the building, with its monolithic brick walls, projecting balconies, and zinc roof retains a semblance of the earlier 'Italianate' style villas that the new building replaces, but in a contemporary style appropriate to its 21st century use. The design is plugs directly into the streetscape looking onto Finsbury Park.
The clients brief has been exceeded, with an elevated level of interior design and fit-out that the spaces benefit from. The hostel is due to open imminently, managed be managed by Hackney Council's Housing Department to contribute greatly towards housing the needs of the borough's homeless.
Internally, there are a variety of double, triple and quad rooms, with access and safety a key aspect of the design, to house large numbers of "vulnerable" adults and families.
The completed project meets Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes equivalent to a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, and the main south facing flat roof is finished with a sedum green carpet and a large array of solar photovoltaic panels.