Meeting Client Demands at Ocean Estate

Ocean Estate site H was part of an award-winning £50 million regeneration scheme in Stepney Green. Once one of the country’s most deprived neighbourhoods, the scheme aimed to rejuvenate the area into a safe, pleasant place to live.

The client wanted to achieve a unique design to fit the needs of the project and its residents while gaining the benefits of Sapphire’s offsite modular solution. Modular prefinished balconies save on cost and complication by opting for standardised fundamental components while delivering flexibility on key differentiating features.

At Ocean Estate the client wanted to provide residents with both privacy and light exposure by tailoring the balustrade design to these needs. The balconies on this project were unique due to the use of aluminium panel not only to the sides of the balcony, but in the front too. This provides additional privacy and security to residents while maintaining the added light and views offered by the laminate glass panels.

An extra wide handrail was also required to be designed to the exact specification as an additional detail. Sapphire designed and manufactured the custom handrail before installing it on the balconies and delivered the full balcony units prefinished to site.

The aluminium panels, soffits and handrail were also designed with a very specific high gloss powder coating to add a custom sheen to the building exterior.

To ensure uniformity across the project the high gloss powder coating on the aluminium soffits and balustrade panels was matched to the colour of the winter gardens which were supplied by a third party. This coordination between the supplier of the winter gardens and Sapphire gave a seamless finish to the building with the benefits of the Glide-On™ system.

The specified high gloss powder coating was also at risk of being scuffed on site or in transit. These would have been particularly vulnerable to damage if the soffits, balustrading and handrail were to be installed on site.

However, due to their being completed offsite the main challenge was ensuring the balconies arrived in pristine condition and were appropriately secured in transit. To protect the balconies, they were each stacked on cushioned support blocks and nested securely on Sapphire’s custom trailers.

Once on site the balconies simply needed to be lifted into position before installers, standing behind Sapphire’s guarding system, helped guide the balconies onto the support arms. Once the balconies slide into place on the arms the bolts were tightened, and the final lengths of decking were fitted into place.

The balconies provide residents with much-needed private outdoor space in the bustling London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The project has also enriched the lives of residents with vibrant open spaces and communal facilities. These efforts have led the project to win several awards including ‘Best Place to Live’ from the Mayor of London in 2015 and recognition in the Royal Institute of Planning’s 2016 ‘Poverty, place and inequality’ report.

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