The two landmark Towers nestle between Shoreditch Park and the Regents Canal in Hackney, east London. Bulmer Brick Cutting Services are responsible for twelve of the fifteen brick related products being supplied and installed at these striking new tower blocks, as well as several ancillary items and fittings.
STOP PRESS OCTOBER 2018: This project won the Gold award for best exterior design at the 2018 What House? Awards and was shortlisted for the 2018 Brick Awards.
The 20 and 16 storey towers are clad with handmade bricks set in a stack bond. Each tower uses a different colour brick with a colour-matched mortar; blue/grey for the western tower and red for the eastern one. Extensive use has been made of the SafeSecure® brick cladding system which enables the use at height of vertical, horizontal and inverted soffit brick clad panels. The system enables the ground floor interiors to feature 5 metre arched curved internal vaulted ceilings. These vaulted soffits bridge the core and the first-floor slabs and allow the exterior brick clad façades of the towers to appear as a continuum of the vaults and the nine supporting brick clad columns at the base of the building.
The brick products comprise special bricks and lintel shelf angles, and fabricated SafeSecure® brick cladding panels. The special bricks are a variety of simple plain cut closers that face the internal walls to the balconies, multiple floor brick paviours, brick clad drain covers and cut and bonded angles. There are six variations of the two types of lintel shelf angles supporting the wet laid brickwork to the external envelope, which require four variations of cut & bonded angles.
The SafeSecure® brick cladding panels (see below) are employed in the hanging balcony soffits, and arched curved internal vaulted ceilings to the ground floor foyers & basement garage entrances.
Click here for a discussion on the invention and design of the SafeSecure® brick soffit solution which was used as cladding for this development. Project Director Jim Watts from Wates Construction Ltd, the lead contractor on this project, explains the process they went through from design to installation.
Variations of the SafeSecure® system are used on the balcony balustrades which are topped with stainless steel capping trays each clad in precisely positioned facing bricks bonded & secured to the tray for safety before pointing in mortar on site; each balcony is the mirror image of its immediate neighbour.
Project delivery required the development of a new manufacturing facility and the purchase of purpose made automated brick cutting and processing plant. The investment enabled high quality volume manufacture of the component parts for each product type. The developed process and systems massively increased the output and kept the contract ahead of the original proposed schedule. Swift Brickwork is the subcontractor responsible for fitting and pointing the Bulmer supplied SafeSecure® fabricated panels. As of November 2017 completion is on schedule for May 2018.