Assael’s start-up business hub sets last piece of London’s Nine Elms jigsaw in stone
A scheme to redevelop one of the last underused sites in the Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area in London has been given the green light by the Mayor of London, following unanimous approval by Wandsworth Planning Committee. Designed by Assael Architecture, DTZ’s proposal offers world-class architecture on a key convergence point at the new Linear Park, Prospect Park and the entrance to the proposed Battersea underground station, one of the new stops on the Northern Line extension.
The mixed-use development will replace the Booker Wholesale Warehouse and a BMW Garage to deliver 307 new homes in a collection of buildings ranging from five to 18 storeys. The ground floor accommodation will be dedicated to affordable business space and food/beverage uses to animate the surrounding streets and the development’s new public space. The 31,000 sq ft of incubator-style office space targets SMEs, including creative start-ups, and has been designed to complement the commercial offering for surrounding developments, assisting local businesses to staircase up to the nearby Battersea Power Station.
The proposed layout encourages permeability through the site with a new public park and route linking the estates to the south to the new Linear and Prospect Parks to the north. Perimeter buildings address this new public space and are more domestic in scale with the taller buildings located adjacent to the railway to the north of the site.
Distinctive architecture combines dramatic building forms with a stone wrap that is punctuated with bronze feature cut out details. Identity and legibility of the five buildings has been achieved by utilising a varied and contrasting material palette including brick and stone.
Pete Ladhams, Director at Assael Architecture, said: “We’ve had overwhelming support and encouragement for the quality of design from officers, members and the general public. The development offers a rare opportunity to stitch together the Nine Elms Regeneration Masterplan with the American Embassy at its core and the Grade I listed Battersea Power Station development. Our aim from the outset was to link with adjacent developments to create a new business hub, offering fully fitted out affordable business space with capped rents aimed at local creative start-ups like ourselves. We hope this development will become a stepping stone for these businesses with aspirations to follow in Apple’s footsteps in becoming part of the iconic Battersea Power Station development.”