Facade Type: Unitized Curtain Wall | Architects: Hawkins Brown | Location: London, United Kingdom
At the north west corner of the Olympic Park and north east of Hackney Wick the building of Here East stands out with its new facade and strong graphics. Here East is the successful transformation of the former Media Centre, a building used during the Olympic games to broadcast the event. Ever since the games have finished, the developer had the idea to transform the over sized building into a multi purpose space that would bring together the many tech firms and small creative companies that started moving to Hackney Wick in the last few years.
Architect Hawkins Brown had the task of transforming the over sized building of the Media Centre into a more relatable place and break the facades into smaller sections that would appeal more to pedestrians.
Previously, the main purpose of the windowless facade was to hide media equipment, which is why the opaque external walls had a basic steel composite cladding. As the program changed, the opaque facade was replaced by a double glazed curtain wall, giving the building a new radical twist going from an opaque envelope to a fully transparent one. Suddenly the inside and outside of the building were connected and light was allowed into the internal spaces.
The curtain wall facade is composed of unitized cladding panels which were laser printed with a dotted ceramic frit. The ceramic frit takes the shape of strong oblique lines which help marking the entrances and contribute to creating a strong unique language in the facade. The density and location of the frit patterns is also used to control solar gain and depends on the internal use and orientation of the building.
The colour orange, used both for the inside of the building and for some elements on the facade, creates a link between the internal and external spaces and gives the development a unique identity.