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Safety & security in world’s tallest modular towers

Crime prevention principles developed by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, will be incorporated into the world’s tallest modular towers, soon to be built in south London.

Croydon is set to surpass New York as home to the world’s tallest modular towers, as 101 George Street sees the construction of a 38-storey and a 44-storey tower, scaling 135 metres and providing 546 new homes. Modules will start being craned in March 2019, with completion of the development due in May 2020.

The architecture draws influences from the mid-century context while using the best of modern manufacture to create the world’s tallest modular building. The façades respond to variations in orientation, views and privacy that vary across the building and each tower has its own identity through subtle variations in proportion and material.

The homes in the towers have been designed specifically for rent and will be professionally managed onsite offering residents a 24/7 service. All homes will benefit from access to shared amenities including a podium garden, roof top gardens at the top of each tower, panoramic viewing walkway, gyms, residents lounge and private dining / event rooms.

The development will provide a new civic space for Croydon at ground level- a ‘woodland winter garden’ that will offer a new green space to George Street and create a gateway to the emerging cultural quarter. The ground floor also incorporates a new art gallery space, a café and some flexible spaces which will incorporate a wide range of possible uses including business incubator spaces and artist’s studio spaces.

An SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officer from the Metropolitan Police worked with the architects at HTA Design LLP to develop the SBD principles considered in the planning application and incorporate SBD crime prevention techniques and security into the development in order to minimise the opportunities for crime.

These measures include the built environment, such as creating natural surveillance from the properties, through to the doors, windows and locks which meet Police Preferred Specification Standards. Other measures include:

• External lighting on all street frontages, landscaped areas and pedestrian routes
• CCTV security surveillance
• Secure maintenance and bike store access
• Planting edges kept to low level to avoid blind spots
• Robust street furniture

These measures combine to make the properties more robust and less attractive to opportunist criminals.

The development will be the tallest modular towers in the world surpassing the current tallest prefabricated building in the world, a 32-storey block in New York. Europe’s tallest modular tower currently is a 29 storey building in Wembley.

The scheme will be delivered in 24 months, from construction starting, to residents moving in to their new homes.

The scheme will be built using offsite technology, with nearly 1500 modules manufactured and installed by Vision Modular Systems from their purpose-built manufacturing facility in Bedford, where the majority of the fit out is installed including windows, electrics and plumbing before the module is transported to the site in Croydon.

This approach saves vital time during the construction process and dramatically reduces onsite waste.

HTA Design LLP

HTA Design LLP is a collaborative design studio specialising in placemaking that is based in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol.

HTA employs 190 staff across architecture, landscape design, planning, urban design, sustainability and communications.

HTA are leaders in urban regeneration, housing, sustainable development and user participation. The award winning practice was established in 1969 and transferred to HTA Design LLP in 2013.

HTA has nearly 50 years’ experience providing comprehensive design services for the delivery of a wide range of private and affordable housing, major redevelopment, regeneration projects and estate modernisation.

Tel: 020 7485 8555