NEO Bankside: from Concept to Construction
June 24 Graham Stirk lecture: NEO Bankside, from Concept to Construction
In an event staged as part of the London Festival of Architecture, Graham Stirk delivered a lecture to invited guests, describing the design process of NEO Bankside from concept to construction.
Graham described how the project has developed since its inception, from the evolution of the brief with Native Land through the planning and design development process to the building currently under construction.
The urban context played a key part in informing the design. Graham showed diagrams illustrating the historical evolution of the site to the present day, and describing the topography of the surrounding architecture. In response to the predominant urban grain a site strategy was developed which maintained North South permeability through the development whilst bringing daylight into the heart of the scheme. The massing of the development responds to the scale of the neighbouring buildings creating a transition from the monumental Tate Modern to the two-storey almshouses on Holland Street.
Each of the five buildings is made up of a number of key elements, whose legibility provides the basis of the architectural expression. The structure provides a strong architectural and visual framework for the scheme. The external bracing removes the need for internal sheer walls and therefore increases the flexibility of the internal planning and servicing arrangement. Working with the ‘served and servant’ concept, each building is composed of simple flexible floors- the served areas- that can accommodate a variety of residential layouts, and a servant core which provides the necessary vertical connections between floors for the efficient functioning of the apartments- the lifts, stairs and service risers. These service towers punctuate the form of the main floor plates, with the lifts pulled away, creating a dynamic foil to the simple mass of the building
Pavilions A and B are currently progressing on site, and Phase 1 of NEO Bankside will be completed in Autumn 2010.
Graham Stirk is a senior director at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, currently leading the design of a number of high profile projects in London including the British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre, the Leadenhall Building and NEO Bankside.
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