Work starts to redevelop historic yard and industrial buildings

TDO Great Suffolk Yard 01 ©DarcStudio

Source: Darc Studio

TDO’s Great Suffolk Yard scheme

TDO has won planning for the £18.5m redevelopment of an inner city block in a historic part of Southwark, south London.

Great Suffolk Yards is a commercial project that will refurbish and extend three historic industrial buildings while replacing four lower-quality structures.

The buildings, which are arranged around a central yard, date from different periods – the oldest from 1850 – and have been altered over the years. They include a former fish merchant, the last surviving house in a 19th-century terrace that once occupied the site and a number of warehouses.

Ranging between two and three storeys they reflect the industrial history of the wider area: tall warehouses assembled closely around a canyon-like shared yard.

TDO Great Suffolk Yard model

Source: TDO

TDO’s Great Suffolk Yard scheme - model

The new buildings will be three to six storeys tall and include terraces.

The site is characterised by a mixture of brick types and tones, stone details, concrete banding, framing and lintels, timber doors, metal windows, corrugated metal roofing and tiled roofs.

TDO Great Suffolk Yard 02 ©DarcStudio

Source: Darc Studio

TDO’s Great Suffolk Yard scheme

Tom Lewith and Doug Hodgson, the founders of locally based TDO, said: “The scheme aims to repurpose the block as a family of buildings to preserve its eclectic character and historic patina.”

The client, developer Tailored Living Solutions, wanted a commercial development with the flexibility to be let either as a single building or to multiple tenants.

TDO GSY Courtyard Elevations Clean

Source: TDO

TDO’s Great Suffolk Yard scheme - courtyard elevations

“This presented a tension between the requirement of the plan – to provide connected open-plan floor space – and the elevations and character of the site, which called for conserving a family of distinct buildings,” said Lewith and Hodgson.

Their strategy was to divide the plot into key massing elements, rebuilding it through a series of new buildings, rooftop extensions and roof terraces.

TDO GSY North Elevation Clean

Source: TDO

TDO’s Great Suffolk Yard scheme - north elevation

Internally, the original buildings will be stripped back to their core, exposing the brick walls and increasing daylight levels, they said. Emulating a raw, industrial aesthetic, services will be exposed throughout.

The new-build elements will be characterised by fair-faced blockwork and self-finished materials, drawing a clear distinction between new and old. Floorplates have been designed to create a clear sequence of spaces across the site, so that the buildings can be occupied by a single tenant or multiple tenants.

TDO Great Suffolk Yard 03 Courtyard ©TDO

Source: TDO

TDO’s Great Suffolk Yard scheme - courtyard

The site has three street frontages – Great Suffolk Street, Toulmin Street and Pickwick Street – with the central yard accessible from two ends.

Currently used for parking, the yard was identified as a valuable amenity bringing in daylight and natural ventilation to the workspaces. It will be served by a café an A network of exterior metal walkways – inspired by Shad Thames’ – will be introduced, opening up routes into the yard from all levels of the buildings.

TDO Great Suffolk Yard - Material collage

Source: TDO

TDO’s Great Suffolk Yard scheme - material collage