Tell us about the early design brief
The brief called for a mansion block typology, with a central courtyard as the model for 288 apartments of mixed tenure.
What inspired your design concept?
We broke the mass of the mansion block model down into eight separate smaller residential blocks. This allowed us to design the blocks as stand-alone building elements and offer a more human scale to the development.
The day the SAS descended onto Plot No1…
- Unknown to any of the site team until it after it happened, the SAS carried out a mock hostage rescue exercise in our plot buildings. They used explosives and battering-down tactics to ‘break into’ the public areas and then into one of the apartments. The plot consultants and contractors were devastated when they found out – the exercise was carried out the day after the works had been snagged!
What challenges did you face along the way?
We wanted to create a unique feel to the plot but still be part of the overall architectural language of the Village. We incorporated similar facade materials to those used on many of the other plots, but developed the detailing in a manner that we thought was appropriate to, and an enhancement of, our concept of individual blocks.
What about specific design challenges?
We were unsure about the extensive use of a glass-reinforced concrete panel system for the facades, but after reviewing the opportunities for colour and texture variation and the flexibility of panel design detailing with the manufacturer, we were able to produce an architectural look and finish to the buildings that was in line with the original concept approach.
How did it feel to be involved in such an important British project?
All of our project team felt a great sense of pride and achievement in being able to participate in what turned out to be a fantastic global event.