In conversation with…Adam Khan Architects

Adam Khan Architect

What did you want to achieve at Quartet?

Our main aim was to create a community orientated development with calm and spacious surroundings for residents to enjoy, in a high-density, urban environment. To deliver this, we focused on the design of the outdoor space to ensure that residents would want to make the most of it. Thoughtful touches such as incorporating different areas within the courtyard to sit and relax and trees lining this garden space, created a feeling of tranquillity and privacy, despite its urban location.

We also wanted to continue Countryside’s ethos of eco-living, so we incorporated eco-friendly practices within attractive features. For example, in the middle of the development we created an attractive water feature which also works as a rainwater harvesting system. 

Another major aim was to create a multi-generational and multi-cultural community, reflective of residents living in and around the Clapton area – we really wanted these new neighbourhoods to bring the community together. To deliver this vision we created a wide range of homes and sizes – from apartments to duplexes and shared communal spaces, to cater for a mix of different lifestyles. For example, we designed bedrooms at the development with sufficient space to accommodate twin beds if preferred by local community groups.

Why did you use certain types of colour schemes and different approaches to the building layout?

We decided to make the buildings a rich dark tone to complement the surrounding greenery and work in harmony with the local wildlife. These tones were created by the use of terracotta, and by incorporating bespoke pieces of terracotta into the façade, it helped to bring a unique touch to the development.

Communal entrance halls were designed to feel like welcoming but robust spaces. We also wanted these areas to be low maintenance and long lasting without comprising on the overall quality of the space.

The building itself has been designed to fit around the existing mature trees on-site so residents can benefit from being surrounded by these stunning high-tops that link the development to the views of Clapton common. Apartments are double aspect to capture the best of the vista ahead and a beautifully landscaped courtyard below – an important feature of the development. We purposely created kinks in the architecture of the building, so the courtyard is seamlessly shaped around it, ensuring this outside space benefits from generous daylight throughout the day.

Did you take inspiration from any buildings in the area?

Yes, we looked at Navarino Mansions in Hackney. We wanted to look at popular existing buildings with five or six stories and what could be improved; what extra spaces and homes could be added that would help to meet local housing need, while providing the communal and outside spaces that would help a new neighbourhood to flourish.

What is your favourite part of the development?

I think due to the amount of existing mature trees we had on-site, I love how we’ve been able to create a development around nature. The shapes that have naturally been created in the courtyard are amazing and we’ve created something for everyone.

We deliberately had to think differently to make this development such a success; we had to think about the spaces between the buildings first and how we could create high-density living amongst a number of trees that we wanted to keep.

The views from the apartments are truly breath-taking - you feel like you’re among the trees, looking across the whole of the capital