Great care has been taken with the design.
Numerous building forms have been considered through the design process, all of which have sought to address several key constraints:
- The diverse built concept
- Potential visual impact on the conservation area
- Impacts on the amenity of adjacent buildings, particularly Windmill House
- The existing trees, notably the Tree of Heaven on the northern boundary.
Following more detailed input on daylight/sunlight impacts, we believe that a triangular footprint is the most appropriate response. This form, arranged on site as shown in the diagram below, will minimise impacts on residents in Windmill House, whilst creating a strong frontage along Greet Street.
The triangular form naturally divides the remaining site into distinct sections, allocated in this case for amenity or parking, whilst creating space for the existing trees.
The addition of extended projecting balconies along the points of the triangle create a more dynamic form, suggesting a hierarchy of aspect and informing how the form of the building evolves as it rises.
The main massing of the proposed building comprises a triangular footprint, orientated to offer its slimmest point to Windmill House so as to minimise daylight/sunlight impacts on dwellings within that block.
Accessed from Greet Street the non-residential community use is located on the ground floor along the full width of the eastern edge. The space is extended to northern and southern edges of the site to maximise this use and to relate to the street alignments. Windows are located on three sides of the space to activate the street frontage and provide natural light and ventilation.
The residential entrance is located on Wootton Street through an entrance courtyard. Two lifts and one staircase provide access to the apartments on upper floors. There is a communal cycle store on the ground floor, along with refuse and plant rooms. The communal garden, growing garden and play area is also included in the secure ground floor open-space.
The immediate context of the Wootton Street site is diverse in its architectural make-up. Immediately facing the site is a Victorian housing estate block (Ipsden Apartments), a distinctive curved residential block dating from the 1950’s (Tait & Benson) and a taller 1960’s residential apartment block (Windmill House). The Railway arches to the north of the site are Victorian and beyond that the Roupell Street Conservation Area comprises buildings dating from the 1840’s. Our proposals seek to be distinctive in both form and architectural treatment.
The strong horizontal banding, emphasised by the curved ends to the balconies also serves to reduce the apparent height of the building. The overall effect is reminiscent of the streamlined modernism found in many estate buildings of the inter-war years and evident in residential blocks across Lambeth.
The Wootton Street proposals are taller than much of the existing historic context but comparable to consented developments such as the Grainger scheme proposed to the west of Windmill House and significantly less tall than the existing Capital Towers development on Waterloo Road.
The Roupell Street Conservation area is comprised of two-storey houses, and Wootton Street (at 13 storeys) represents a marked contrast. Whilst the proposals are not visible in all the roads within the conservation area with an east-west orientation: Roupell Street, Brad Street, Whittlesey Street - it will inevitably be visible in longer views along the roads with a north-south alignment such as Windmill Walk and Theed Street.
The Wootton Street proposals are therefore intended to be of a very high design quality with materials - predominantly brick banding and powder-coated metalwork, chosen to contrast with those of the conservation areas. A well-designed, high-quality building can provide a distinctive yet appropriate neighbour to the conservation area.