The 'HOOLA' in Tidal Basin Road in East London, gateway to the soon-to-be regenerated Royal Victoria Docks area, has transformed a brownfield site into two rippling 23 and 24 storey glass towers, that offer 360 apartments with a mix of studios, along with one, two and three-bedroom units.
The buildings are super-insulated and the concrete frame will act as a heat sink – absorbing heat on warm days and releasing it back into apartments when it cools. An innovative link-up with the neighbouring ExCel Exhibition Centre will also see excess heat piped directly into the two towers. This will provide all the necessary heating and hot water requirements and significantly reduce maintenance costs by doing away with the need for individual boilers. A critical design requirement for such a super-insulated building was the avoidance of any risk of thermal bridging at the many concrete-to-concrete balcony connectivity points – so highly efficient structural thermal breaks were required throughout. The preferred solution was the Schöck Isokorb® T type K for cantilever balconies.
Luke Smerdon-White, Technical Director at Thorp, takes up the story: "We had to design, manufacture and deliver 1410 precast concrete balcony sections that had to then be cast integrally with the in situ concrete structure." "The exposed front-face is curved, with almost 50 different dimensional configurations, while the internal face has a facetted line that had to correlate with the glazing line and opening doors."