The aspiration for the village, for clients Lend Lease and now Qatari Diar Delancey, is for high-quality housing supported by essential facilities such as schools and health services – a new sustainable community in East London. Plot N02 contains around 300 apartments set around a raised courtyard. It takes as inspiration a familiar London typology – that of large-scale residential buildings set around communal gardens. In Notting Hill and Little Venice tall terraces present a formal face of white stucco, grand entrances, elaborate mouldings to the street. These contrast with a more relaxed atmosphere to the rear, where elevations in standard stock brick with exposed rainwater goods overlook informal private and communal gardens. The external façade of N02 is clad in crisp white pre-cast concrete panels, articulated by vertical fluting and white balconies mostly with vertical metal balustrades.
This calm, formal exterior is in contrast to the courtyard, where cladding panels are a rich brick-red, providing warmth and informality to the landscaped space. The red interior is glimpsed through gaps along the exterior, with the juxtaposition of materials creating crisp, defined corners and a playful contrast of colour. Modular cladding panels, cast and assembled off-site, express the layout of apartments and are framed elements with pre-installed windows which were craned onto site and assembled. Unusually, balconies were bolted directly to the panel exterior and no structural penetrations were required. The balconies are a key ingredient, providing generous amenity space and grouped in clusters that animate the façades. East and west elevations are staggered suggesting movement along the streets, north and south are vertically stacked emphasising views across open space.
The project was completed in 2012, in time for the games, and was retro-fitted to form part of the new East Village in 2014.