Fish Island Village, a new £125 million live-work neighbourhood to the south of Hackney Wick, has reached a major milestone: two sections within an ensemble of buildings by Haworth Tompkins, Pitman Tozer Architects and Lyndon Goode Architects, have just welcomed their first residents.
Located within one of the 2012 Olympic Fringe areas opposite Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Fish Island Village is a joint venture development between Peabody, one of London’s oldest and largest housing associations, and Hill, an award-winning top 15 UK housebuilder. Stirling Prize winner Haworth Tompkins is the masterplanning architect of the 2.85 hectare site, with the public realm and rooftops designed by landscape architect Farrer Huxley Associates. The scheme replaces an inaccessible site of disused single-storey distribution warehouses with a collection of mid-rise buildings interspersed with new public spaces fronting onto the canal.
Sited next to an existing live/work block, Omega Works, Fish Island Village opens up 200 metres of previously closed-off canal frontage along the Hertford Union Canal. The new development will create a dynamic canal side neighbourhood with a public square for local activities and spill-out space for the ground floor bars and restaurants.
Phases 1 and 2 of Fish Island Village (on site to complete 2020) comprise four distinct mixed-use sections designed by three architecture practices working in collaboration, appointed individually through Peabody’s architecture framework. Pitman Tozer Architects is responsible for three blocks on Monier Road; Lyndon Goode Architects has designed Lanterna, a free-standing block facing onto a new public space at the northeast corner of the site; and Haworth Tompkins is the architect of Neptune Wharf, two clusters with 13 blocks fronting onto the canal. Monier Road and Lanterna are now complete, with residents moving in. Works continue on site at Neptune Wharf.
Lanterna is a standalone building with four active frontages, sited prominently as a gateway building to Fish Island Village. The design was procured through an LLDC-led competition that engaged six practices on Peabody’s Small Projects Framework. The competition was judged by Peabody and masterplanners Haworth Tompkins, and won by Lyndon Goode Architects.
With dark, textured pre-cast concrete elevations, Lanterna is daring in its design, mediating between the industrial elevations of Omega Works and the brick and grit-blasted concrete elevations of Neptune Wharf. Its large openings recessed within a repeating frame is inspired by the local industrial vernacular.
The elevations of textured hand-cast concrete panels inlaid with a herringbone-pattern are inspired by graffiti prevalent in the area, and wrap the building, weaving in and out of reveals, giving it a bold three-dimensional form. The building is raised on a podium to resolve the change of level between a proposed new pedestrian bridge and Fish Island Village’s public square.
Lanterna’s mix of uses – 16 dwellings and a 5 metre-high, glass-fronted ground-floor restaurant set back under a colonnade – provides a dynamic backdrop for the square. Large symmetrical set-backs on each of the southern corners demarcate the residential and commercial entrances. Repeated on the upper floors, the set-backs allow for generous balconies, envisaged as outdoor living rooms.