By Maccreanor Lavington
Client Barratt London
Awards RIBA London Award 2021
This project has been nominated for the 2021 Neave Brown Award for Housing
The architect responded to the brief to rejuvenate a semi-derelict brownfield site by creating a sustainable new neighbourhood. Comprising several separate blocks with a number of attractive roof gardens and a 28-storey tower, the scheme restores the urban grain, creating new public realm and welcome breathing space. It thus successfully repairs a large portion of the street, revitalising the area around St George’s Circus.
In total, the mixed-use scheme creates 336 new homes, including 56 social rent homes for Southwark Council. It also incorporates two new public spaces within the block and a yard surrounded by units aimed at small enterprises, with a café on the adjacent square.
All the blocks respectfully reference the past. The detailing of the window surrounds is robust, while horizontal bands define the floor levels. Elsewhere, a lot of intricate work has gone into the design of the facades, including interesting metal railings and attractive, subtly multi-coloured brickwork in intriguing patterns using glazed bricks of different shapes and sizes. The tower is ingeniously located just off the circus. Despite its scale and height, it fits well within the overall streetscape.
The double-height ground floors lead to the commercial spaces. Perhaps the most interesting of these is the atrium off the circus which, with its translucent roof, provides colonnaded access to the flats and feels timeless.
Given the size of the project and its many constraints, the overall result is a great achievement. It reactivates the area with many new residential and commercial units, all supported by pockets of new public realm. The visit took place during the lockdown when the streets were still fairly quiet. Once life starts to be normal again, it is anticipated that this new addition to Southwark will become vibrant and lively quarter.
Contract Value £105,000,000
Internal Area 39,467 m²
Contractor Barratt London
Structural Engineers Aecom
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant Barratt London
Project Management Barratt London
Environmental / M&E Engineers Whitecode Associates
Acoustic Engineers RBA Acoustics
Access Consultant David Bonnett Associates
Landscape Architects OuterSpace
Sustainability Consultant Bespoke Builder Services (BBS)
Fire Consultant H+H Fire