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Making the most of a small footprint

Nick Myall
Friday 25 Sep 2015

A tight site next to a busy railway line in London presented Sheppard Robson with a challenge

With space for development in London at a premium getting the most out of every available site is a must. Architectural practice Sheppard Robson has received planning permission from Westminster City Council for a mixed-use scheme that addresses this issue neatly.

The scheme combines educational facilities and a residential development on a tight site next to Ebury Bridge, London. Working with Bouygues Development, the project with a design and build value of £35m includes a new 5,200 sq m University Technical College (UTC) constructed in memory of the late Sir Simon Milton, London's former Deputy Mayor for Planning and Policy. The UTC will sit alongside 47 residential units to be purchased by Redrow London. 

Working on a challenging site adjacent to a busy railway line, Sheppard Robson positioned the UTC to the south side of the site with the massing responding to the neighbouring Peabody Estate. The college will be configured in an L shape set around a double-height entrance to the school and include workshops for engineering, gym and sports facilities and a large outdoor terrace. Set next to this to the north is the 10-storey residential block, with the triangular plan of the latter creating a strong angular form facing Ebury Bridge. 

The brick-clad UTC building will provide space for 550 pupils aged between 14-18 year olds, housing a facility with a specialism in engineering sponsored by the University of Westminster and Network Rail. The glazed double-height entrance to the college is the public face of the facility and leads into an internal atrium which creates a feeling of openness and generosity of space. 

The residential building uses a palette of finely textured stone and aluminium that reflects the refined architectural character of the Pimlico Conservation area, with the building forming a gateway to the area at the intersection of the mainline rail tracks and the bridge.

Dan Burr, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: "Weaving together an unusual mix of a college and residential development was made even more challenging given the small footprint of the site. We wanted our design to create a legible, clear composition, which uses a family of architectural elements to fuse together these different functions and help root them in the surrounding urban context."

 

Nick Myall

News Editor

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Architecture
United Kingdom

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