Vantage Point

GRID Architects, London, 2016

 

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Tenure breaks down into 34 studios, 57 one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom units 

Morley von Sternberg     Download Original

  • Tenure breaks down into 34 studios, 57 one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom units    
  • Archway Tower had long outlived its economic usefulness as an office block    
  • Finishes are robust and easy to clean    
  • Flats are designed to optimise space, adopting a rigorously modular approach to internal planning    
  • The double-height windows    
  • Communal space    
  • Site plan    
  • Amenity floor plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Long section    
  • Short section    
  • North elevation    
  • East elevation    
  • Archway Tower    
  • Concrete frame perimeter and sill detail    

A north London 1970s office block is transformed into flats for the private rented sector.

Archway Tower has been remade and remodelled as Vantage Point, a complex of build-to-rent flats aimed at transforming the London rental market. 

The building was composed of three ‘slabs’ seemingly sliding past each other – a classic slab block technique. While the change of use was obtained through office-to-residential Permitted Development, the cladding was replaced as part of a Detailed Planning Application. The concrete frame was retained and the new cladding system was purpose-designed to accommodate the external structure, picture windows and natural ventilation openings. To transform the over-scaled mass, the end-walls (formerly in black concrete) were re-clad in light stone and the other façades in deep, perforated aluminium coffers with floor-to-ceiling glazing. The coffers reflect east-west light and the sloping sills reflect the sky. To overcome the poor public realm provision and dark, inactive frontages, the client asked for an enhanced and more visible entrance hall to the corner of the site to enliven the streetscape and help reduce the strong wind conditions there. 

Flats are designed to optimise space, adopting a rigorously modular approach to internal planning. Tenure breaks down into 34 studios, 57 one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom units, but bathrooms are the same size, regardless of flat type. The perimeter upstands of the concrete floor slab are encased in timber and transformed into window seats, an effective way of creating space in the smaller studios. 

Once the façade concept has been established, of coffered fins overcladding the columns, an additional fin was introduced to subdivide the grid further and provide rhythm and proportion to the new façade. This ‘intermediate’ fin is perforated and conceals the purge vent to the glazing system and MVHR intake and extract locations. This allowed the glazed elements of the façade to remain as large picture windows. 

The opening vents were originally designed to be solid but developed to be glazed with a further perforated panel added as a guard. As a result of the two layers of perforations, dappled lighting effects are cast within the apartments and at night emitted from the façade.

Data

  • Begun: May 2014
  • Completed: May 2016
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £21M
  • Address: Vantage Tower, 2 Junction Rd, London, N19 5HQ, United Kingdom

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