NEO Bankside

NEO Bankside - Design

The development will provide a total of 217 residential units in five separate buildings, ranging from six to 24 storeys.

The units vary from studios to four-bedroom penthouses. Of these units, 32 are shared equity, with a substantial provision of affordable housing to be provided in the London Borough of Southwark on a separate site. The total residential provision of the scheme covers 28,600m2.

Retail units will be provided at ground level, with a total area of 1,044m2. A common concierge for all blocks is located at the focal point of the scheme at the base of the tallest building. A single-storey basement runs beneath the entire site in which additional storage is provided.

The hexagonal plan form and orthogonal structural grid offer flexibility in the planning of the internal layouts. The brief required a range of apartment sizes from studios and one-bedroom to four-bedroom units, each of varying sizes. Penthouses are larger duplex units, expressed as independent pavilion structures, which take advantage of the sloping roof plane with double-height living areas. Winter gardens at the north and south ends of each building create ‘prows’, reinforcing the buildings’ relationship to Holland and Sumner Streets.

Views in and out of the apartments are controlled and directed by the cladding system. The use of timber louvred screens provide privacy by directing views away from neighbouring buildings both within and outside the development. These screens also provide solar shading for the apartments, reducing solar heat gain.

The proposal seeks to achieve a contemporary architectural language which responds creatively to, and mediates between, the articulation and colouration of the local architectural context. The area surrounding the site is characterised by the variety of the scale and style of its buildings. This variety extends to the materials used, ranging from the warm brick hues of the Victorian buildings on Southwark Street and Tate Modern to the precise steel and glass of Bankside 1/2/3 These materials also reflect the changing historic use of the area, from predominantly industrial activity to cultural, office, residential and retail uses.

Project Bankside is conceived as having quality façades with expression and depth. The external bracing is located proud of the façades and adds visual depth to them. The façade aesthetic is softened through the use of solid and timber louvred elements, both within and behind the glazing. The timber louvres are set between the layers of the double glazed façade and the use of solid, insulated backing panels continues the warm colouration. The organisation of the clear louvred and solid panels within the façade reflects the internal organisation of the apartments. The form and structure of the buildings create the controlling framework for this range of cladding types, and - together - form a strong visual identity to the façade.

The theory of ‘served’ and ‘servant’ spaces is used to create maximum flexibility in the project. External diagrid bracing has been used to keep the floorplates rigid and resist lateral wind movement This arrangement removes the need for internal sheer walls and cores and therefore increases the flexibility of the internal planning and servicing. 

The Bankside area has evolved a diverse mix of accommodation, from medieval almshouses to the large industrial volume of Tate Modern. The stepping of heights between the five buildings of Project Bankside helps to mediate this.