Inspired by three fat "chips" piled on top of one another the building is comprised of three equal-height, long, thin build masses approximately 100 meters long by 14 meters wide, stacked and staggered upon one another.
The scheme was conceived to give variation and unique apartments within a high-density block. An important part of the design strategy was that all residents would be near water, able to see water and to be able to use the new canal arms as a recreational facility.
The mix of apartments, studios, workshops and restaurants stitched into the overall building form creates a diversity of use. The apartment types, arranged on eight floors, range from studio spaces to three bedroom apartments, with a variety of external balconies. The building was raised off the ground so that all units and users are elevated above the ground plain.
The apartments, planned internally around a central "pod" unit, housing the bathroom and kitchen areas, can be open plan or sub-divided by the use of large folding screens. All apartments are accessed via a glazed lobby to the centre of the building.
The project defines a quality of living by combining outstanding design with technological innovation while embracing key concepts of sustainability, integration into the urban landscape, and the provision of inspirational apartment units.
The completion of Chips marks another significant milestone for New Islington, which will become even more of a community once the residents of Chips move into their apartments.
Alsop developed the scheme in close collaboration with the local community. Using the Alsop strategy of engagement, the masterplan and Chips building design were developed from an extensive community consultation exercise over a six-month period. Local residents were taken on site visits to high-density residential developments that support the sustainable infrastructure that the community wanted. In addition, Alsop led workshops where the residents were directly asked what type of accommodation they wanted and the facilities that they felt the community would require. The final design is a direct result of the consultation process.
Chips meets the Sustainability guidelines as set out by the UK Homes and Communities agency as apart of the "Millennium Community" Program.
Facts about Chips
Simon Fenton Partnership
Pinniger & Partners
Photographed by Christian Richters
Last updated: December 19, 2013
North Adams, Massachusetts, USA
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Seattle, Washington, USA