Following the successful completion of Urbanest King’s Cross, GHA was appointed as architect to develop the proposals for a new residential tower in Vauxhall.
The site is part of a wider masterplan development and had previously been granted permission by the developer on a speculative basis. GHA was tasked with redesigning the building to suit Urbanest’s specific requirements, whilst working within the parameters already set by the planning approval.
The design comprises a slender 32-storey tower on a prominent corner of the masterplan development offering 454 student bedrooms through a mixture of cluster flats and self-contained studios. A key feature of the design is the well-crafted bull-nose apex at the south-west corner of the building. Formed from curved glass, the full-height windows look out towards the new US Embassy at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station.
The design of the facade is one of strong, vertical brick piers broken at each floor level by contrasting bands of reconstituted stone. The consistent setting out of the piers gives the elevations a regular and ordered appearance, while the spacing of the piers creates slender openings which emphasise the building’s verticality. Each floor plate is expressed externally to add visual interest and develop a hierarchy of facade elements.
A double-height reception area will provide a welcoming environment with the majority of the communal spaces at the base of the tower, thus offering an active frontage to Miles Street and a meeting place for students and visitors. At the top of the tower, there is a generous rooftop terrace and further communal lounge. This 'room in the sky' provides spectacular views towards Battersea, the Thames and central London.
It is intended that the project will continue to raise the bar for high quality, well-designed student living and will play a significant role as a landmark development within Vauxhall.