RCKa modular hostel for Camden Council wins approval

RCKa has won approval to build a modular, 39-unit hostel for Camden Council in north London

The scheme in Camden Road will replace an existing hostel building, which comprised one-bedroom studios and was 'not designed to meet the needs of families'.

The new building will contain apartments for multiple family members, two one-bed homes and a single wheelchair accommodation on the ground floor.

A key feature will be a multipurpose terrace which, the practice says, will 'encourage social interaction between neighbours' and features a rear community courtyard with a garden room.

According to RCKa, the doorway has been designed to feel like a 'traditional residential entrance rather than an institutional building'  creating 'a welcoming, domestic impression for residents'.

The building, described as a 'sanctuary with a community focus', will be clad in a green-glazed tiles on the upper levels above a brick base.

RCKa director Russell Curtis said the practice had initially carried out a feasibility study to see whether the hostel on the site could be retained or extended. 'However, this work concluded that reconfiguration of the existing building would not have delivered a sufficient quantum of much-needed temporary accommodation and that the limited floor-to-ceiling heights were insufficient to achieve the servicing and acoustic separation requirements.'

He added: 'Furthermore, it would have been unviable to provide new accommodation of acceptable quality through retention of the existing structure; any changes to the building would have resulted in fully-sealed, single-aspect rooms facing Camden Road, which is both noisy and suffers from high levels of air pollution.'

The project marks a shift by the local authority away from relying on the private sector for temporary family accommodation. It is also one of several similar developments that Camden is looking to deliver using modern methods of construction (MMC) with individual units built offsite.

Councillor Danny Beales, cabinet member for investing in communities, culture and an inclusive economy at Camden Council, said: 'This is the third hostel built by our Community Investment Programme, through which we are continuing to deliver modern, green and affordable homes for our residents despite massive reductions in central government funding.

'At Camden Road, much-needed, fit-for-purpose accommodation will provide for families in need of housing support, help to keep more families in the borough as they await their move to a settled home and save money – that would otherwise be spent on expensive private sector accommodation – that will then be reinvested in other homeless support services.'

The scheme is targeting a Home Quality Mark of 4.5 stars, and, the practice claims it will achieve the carbon reduction targets as set out in the newly-adopted London Plan.

A future timescale is not yet known.

 
MPBA
Radar Communications

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