Mayor signs off on reworked Vinegar Yard scheme almost two years after councillors’ rejection
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates has secured planning consent for a 20-storey life-sciences-led development in Southwark almost two years after councillors went against officers’ advice and rejected an earlier incarnation of the scheme.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan subsequently called in the application and last week signed off on KPF’s Vinegar Yard proposals for the SC1 Life Science and Innovation District, subject to the completion of a Section 106 planning obligation agreement.
SC1 is a collaboration between King’s Health Partners, Lambeth Council, Southwark Council, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation. It aims to create a “global quarter of high-impact healthcare innovation”.
The revised version of the scheme will deliver 8,207sq m of office floorspace and more than 13,500sq m of floorspace for either medical activities or research and development. Other changes sought by Khan following Southwark councillors’ rejection of the original scheme included removing a proposed live music venue and boosting affordable workspace from 1,200sq m to 3,067sq m.
Greater London Authority planning officers also sought a 10m increase in height for the building – taking it from 86.7m to 97.1m – to accommodate the increased floor-to-ceiling heights required for medical uses, and the retention of a warehouse on the site.
KPF said the distinctive stepped profile of the building had been composed as a series of “carefully assembled volumes” that were designed to “respond to the sensitivities” of the immediate context.
It added that the building’s facades had been inspired by traditional warehouse architecture, and were differentiated through subtle variations within a palette of brick, terracotta, stone and glazing.
Design principal John Bushell said securing planning for the Vinegar Yard scheme had been a “long journey” but also a hugely rewarding one.
“Life sciences are an increasingly important element in the UK property sector, and our experience around the world tells us that life sciences innovation blossoms within a thriving mixed-use neighbourhood,” he said.
“That is central to our approach at Vinegar Yard, and we are looking forward to seeing it take shape.
“Connecting the benefits of the development with Southwark’s diverse community is just as vital to the success of our building and the SC1 District. We have listened and directly responded to local aspirations so that the scheme delivers lasting improvements to the borough.”