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16 apartments overlooking a small park close to Tate Modern, varying from 1 bed flats to 3 bedroom rooftop apartments.

Basement parking is provided with a car lift and a new nursery space takes up the ground floor area. Uniquely, the site overlooks a neighbourhood park, and also has views north to the city and west to the Southbank.

Its abstracted design resulted from looking carefully at its architecturally diverse context, in particular, the example of local warehouses. SE1 has a strong and distinct character shaped by its rich history of merchants and visitors to the City. The design takes the warehouse type and reverses it: walls are transparent and openings can become solid. To achieve this end, the skin was freed from its loadbearing role and developed as a single system to respond to both the inherent sensitivities of housing design whilst remaining contextual.

The facade system was designed by Swiss firm Hirsch, and is as a unified system which can respond to differing orientations. Openings in it are made at the scale of a warehouse door, as many such buildings still remain in the area.

The external full height opening doors can be opened or closed to help control the internal environment.
The three wall types allow this flexibility. The solid timber panels open, aluminium panels provide enclosure, and the full height glazing provide outlook/light. The façade pattern is deliberately loose, to allow flexibility and makes each apartment unique. Externally, the floor levels, columns, services and openings are absorbed into the pattern of the façade. This skin wraps the building including a version for the open bridge, and the flank walls are almost blank but hold a reference to a source for the pattern.

The massing has been separated into 2 distinct buildings, with the nursery at street level would enlivening the local streetscape. The north building is taller and is related to the park and the south building is lower, at the scale of local streets in the area. The composition of 2 buildings is important in breaking down the massing to clearly express two blocks, rather than one.

At ground level, the public connection with the street is key in relating the building to it’s context. This overtly generous and open plan element of the building has been designed to connect rather than create barriers.

Lantern Apartments, Borough

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