London & South East

Mixed use scheme rises to the challenge of a complex site

Yale Terrace KitchenYale Terrace in Islington is a contemporary mixed use scheme, comprising eight town houses, four flats and a 3500 sq ft commercial unit, just being completed on what can only be described as a challenging urban site.

The project was carried out for Empyrean Developments by Main Contractors Future Urban.

Bellis Cooley Architects acted as design advisors and dealt with all planning matters throughout the construction phase of the project

This is an important project for Bellis Cooley Architects, being a new practice. Therefore a director was involved at all times and worked closely with an associate and a part 1 architectural assistant.Yale Terrace air shot

The technical design was handled by Ramsden and Partners Architects, throughout construction and Bellis Cooley Architects worked closely with them to ensure the detail matched the design intent.

The project involved the demolition of a former plumber’s merchants nestled between two roads, one a narrow residential one way lane, the other a key road and junction – which created significant logistics and delivery difficulties.

These constraints, combined with consideration for the needs of six neighbouring shops and apartments resulted in the need for hand demolition, helibar reinforcement, underpinning and sheet piled temporary works – just to get the project out of the ground. Yale Terrace back external

The next issue was how to service this awkward site. Future Urban took the decision to leave one mid-terraced house down, using its position as the crane location.  When the crane was dismantled, the team had to play catch up and erect the missing house with only the most minimal of logistics support.

This level of attention to detail and execution was demanded in all elements of the design and build.Yale Terrace bedroom

Basement and ground slabs for the commercial unit were formed out of SIKA watertight concrete offering a 20 year warranty.  The basement itself was built over a Thames Water Deep Sewer that necessitated a non-piled solution due to the imposed exclusions zone, with Ellis & Moore, the engineers opting instead for a mass raft foundation.

The three-bedroom houses range in size from 98 to 134 square meters and the two-bedroom apartments range from 67 to 78 square meters with a comparable specification to that of the houses.Yale Terrace bedroom

The town houses are all traditional construction with insulated block and beam slabs. External elevations boast a distinctive Wienerberger white brick contrasted by Prodema wood effect panelling, offset by aluminium windows. The properties incorporate terraces, balconies, and each has fully decked courtyard gardens.

For both roofs and terraces, Future Urban opted for traditional mastic asphalt upside down roof systems in lieu of the more favoured single ply membrane.Yale Terrace Front on View

Whilst the houses have only a nominal footprint, the intelligent use of space has yielded abundant natural lighting.

The exacting internal finishes, designed by Empyrean’s In-house design team, created a level of modern opulence expected in homes worth twice their value, whilst not compromising the buildings’ eco credentials.

The specification includes German state of the art kitchens with top brand appliances. Accented in stainless steel and brushed aluminium, with glass splash backs and composite stone work tops, the kitchens form the striking centre piece for the townhouses.Yale Terrace Living Room

Large porcelain tiles adorn the ground floor of each house, with under floor heating throughout. Bathroom floors are all finished in ceramic tile, while bedrooms contain plush, comfortable carpeting.

The separate living room is a quiet retreat, with modern gas fireplace that perfects the ambience in which to unwind and relax. The oak covered flooring was supplied and fitted by Oakwell Building Services Ltd, who also fitted the matching oak overlay to the stairs.

With a w/c or bathroom, on every floor, the properties incorporate top quality sanitary ware, with wall hung toilets and wall mounted sinks. The ground floor w/c’s double as utility rooms, removing the laundry equipment away from the main living areas.

All the master bedrooms have beautifully crafted German fitted wardrobes and 100% wool carpets and most enjoy the benefit of a private terrace.

Whilst built under the old Eco Homes Standards, Empyrean took the conscious decision in reducing their carbon footprint to meet many of the Code of Sustainable Housing Level 3 standards.

The building envelopes have been designed with the most exacting U-Value possible for such a build and the windows boast exceptional acoustic performance.

The houses incorporate solar thermal panels and under floor heating with individual room controls, whilst the flats similarly have the latest heat recovery systems and income generating solar voltaic cells.

All in all, the Yale Terrace development is an exemplar of how to deliver a contemporary, environmentally conscious design on a Brownfield urban site to a discerning consumer.

Mr Nick Charalambous of Future Urban said: “The public reaction to the development has been excellent – everyone seems to like it.”

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