Southwark, London, UK
A further example of our hybrid design approach that blends together industrial employment space with residential accommodation and amenities such as retail, healthcare and play space. The project is carefully integrated into an urban mix of listed gasometers in a new park, active industrial and new residential communities, all joined up by people-focused public realm spaces and facilities
The design replaces the current sheds with twice the area of light industrial and studio units on the ground floor and first floor, all having ‘Windows on Work’, transparent facades that let daylight and views into the varied working and community support activities.
This visibility ensures a strong relationship between the community and the tenants, a fresh approach to integrating work and living neighbours.
The footprint is very tight so the urban design is responsive to its context with a complementary curved façade and block to the gasometer and a rectangular block to the new residential towers on the east.
The lower industrial spaces form a podium whose roof becomes a play and rest garden for the tenants, establishing a second level of green public realm 12m above the street level shared surfaces for walking, cycling and controlled driving.
Employment spaces are serviced by discreet but industry standard loading bays and lifts specified for forklift trucks. They are column free with 4.5m high floor to soffit spans, and highly agile for multiple uses and change of uses in the future.
The structure is fully coordinated with the residential frame above, avoiding transfer beams and the services are equally coordinated.
The hybrid model is intrinsically sustainable, retaining and enhancing employment facilities whilst adding new homes in urban locations.
They are embedded into a new public realm which is rich in access controls and benefits, local amenity facilities and biodiversity planting.
Residential blocks include 35% affordable homes, outdoor amenity for all and secure and a welcoming integration of their front door and reception areas into a new form of active urban high street.
All the occupants and neighbours are equally important community members and this new urban intensification project values and designs for all of them, keeping existing work types, adding new ones, creating controlled visibility of these jobs, enhancing the local appreciation of each other and establishing innovative and enticing new places to live and work