Working in a consortium of consultants led by EC Harris, BM3 Architecture was selected through a competitive tender process to work on the refurbishment of Oxford City Council's stock of high rise flats.
Hockmore Tower was built in the 1960s, it sits above Templar Square shopping centre in Cowley. The block has 56 flats split over seven floors, with two additional flats at roof level. The flats vary in size from studios to two bed flats.
The block is quite prominent from the north-east corner from the Between Towns Road. The north and south elevations are solid gable ends, clad in Portland stone. The east and west elevations consist of a concrete frame with continuous curtain wall glazing from 2nd to 7th floors within each frame. The stone is in need of repair and in order to thermally upgrade the building needs to be removed or over-clad. A number of options were developed that either reinforced the grid or break the grid by the introduction of irregular panels.
The proposal seeks to thermally upgrade the whole building envelope. New double glazed windows are defined as double height openings to give the illusion of taller openings, whilst irregular panels break up the rigidity of the grid and provide increased thermal mass. The north east corner is given greater height to emphasise its prominence and includes signage.
The south elevation has 3 arrays of PV panels to provide energy to contribute towards the energy requirements of the communal areas.
The tower refurbishment works are to be undertaken with resident’s in-situ who have been extensively consulted throughout the project on the new design of their homes. Design reviews with CABE have also been part of the design process