December 30, 2015

Angel Lane

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Angel Lane Stratford: Case Study


Located in Stratford’s regeneration area, Angel Lane is student accommodation giant UNITE’s latest London development. The site incorporates more than 700 flats, state of the art facilities, and a large open space, which overlooks the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

WoodBlocX innovative wooden brick system was specified for build, the second of Unite project that WoodBlocX planters have been specified for. The brief was to create a contemporary design that echoed the architectural surroundings, whilst providing areas for different groups of people to relax and socialise, within a strict timeframe.

The WoodBlocX system is extremely versatile, designing/building raised planters and retaining walls, any shape or size is possible. It is an effective alternative to heavy railway sleepers that are difficult to work with. The unique pressure treatment used on the FSC pine blocks means WoodBlocX is more robust than standard raised planters enabling the company to offer a 15-year guarantee.

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Work on the garden element of the build began in November 2013 and was completed in August 2015. The final design incorporated 10 very large angular raised beds which combined built-in seating and lighting arranged around a south facing courtyard located on the first floor covering more than 160m2, planted out with shrubs that are suited to the conditions of the area, providing year-round interest and encouraging biodiversity.

The capped and angled parts of the planters were pre-mitred, saving the installers significant build time and eliminating the need for sawing, drilling and disposing of waste.

Each raised bed was built directly on top of a porous plastic layer to ensure adequate drainage once planting was in place. The lightweight blocks house soil effectively, leaving no gaps for it to escape as the wood ages and settles.

The planters and seating arrangements had to be built as part of the final, and most time sensitive, phase of the development. The brief stressed that timing and safety were of utmost importance during this period, as the top floor of the student accommodation project was the primary focus of the WoodBlocX elements and no cranes were made available. This was the striking advantage of using WoodBlocX over heavy railway sleepers, as the company’s lightweight blocks were easy to move up and down the development site.