Striking 16-storey block occupies sharp corner in Southwark
4pm update: Drawings attached below
Allies & Morrison has completed a super slender block of flats near the Tate Modern that is only 4m wide at its narrowest point.
The 16-storey tower, containing just nine apartments, is 12m wide at its widest.
It occupies a sharply angular corner plot in Bankside, a few doors along from the practice’s Southwark Street headquarters.
The site constraints led to a design that is more commonly found in cities where space is at a premium and plots are very tight, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo and Manhattan, said the architect which formerly used the building’s predecessor as overflow space before buying the site.
Graham Morrison, partner at Allies & Morrison and the project’s client, said: “The site was formerly occupied by Isis House, a dark, low-ceilinged office building with a raised ground floor set above and apart from street. Despite the considerable development going on around it, this site was stubbornly unchanging, its small footprint considered undevelopable. But we felt this prominent and highly visible ‘prow’ site deserved better, in fact it deserved a significant building, a view that was supported by the local planning authority.”
The 2,420sq m building, 67 Southwark Street, contains five different apartment types: three single-floor units; four duplex units of two different formats; a one-storey unit; and one three-storey unit occupying the uppermost floors and featuring a belvedere with views across London. A commercial unit on the ground floor has been let to a cafe.
Its two-part composition derives from its immediate surroundings, with the tallest element facing north on busy Southwark Street, its bold striped-brick facade broken up by large windows.
As it rounds the corner it reaches its skinniest point before expanding on to quieter Lavington Street with a more restrained cream brick facade and balconies supported on a metal structure of steel columns and horizontal supports, intended as a nod to the fire escapes of New York.
Artur Carulla, a partner at Allies & Morrison, said: “If in both form and composition this skinny tower draws on international influences, it is also very specific to its London context, how it meets the ground and engages with the street.”
Allies & Morrison is responsible for a growing collection of buildings in the immediate area, including its own studios, Bankside 123, the Crane Building, 50 Ewer Street, Lavington Street Hotel, and Chapter South Bank.