Will Alsop’s practice aLL Design have submitted planning permission for a 1,735 sq m residential building with a highly unusual silhouette in Vauxhall, London. Branded ‘The Beacon’, its eye-catching appearance will announce Newport Street on south London’s skyline, and the building will contribute significantly to the on-going regeneration of this fast changing area.
Newport Street is home to the celebrated Newport Street Gallery, recently opened by Damien Hirst. The Beaconsfield gallery is also a locally established gallery and both are bringing life to a previously neglected part of south London. The area is fast becoming a creative hub with the redevelopment of railway arches into shops and a contemporary music school. Consequently, a key element of the brief was to maintain the momentum of community development in Newport Street by making regeneration of the building’s surrounding public realm a central aspect of the design.
The client for The Beacon is locally based Newport Street Projects (NSP). NSP was formed with the sole purpose of redeveloping 17 Newport Street and its surroundings, and is the brainchild of three people, each with a personal attachment to the area.
NSP commissioned Will Alsop and aLL Design to create an iconic building for the emerging art district. Commenting on the project, the principle partners of NSP, Nina and Paul Boyd, said “Will Alsop’s artistic flair and portfolio of outstanding architectural achievements convinced us that aLL Design had the ability to deliver a visionary scheme that would accelerate the transformation of Newport Street and the surrounding area. aLL has a passion and track record for regenerating communities in need which will be reflected in the end result.”
aLL Design responded to NSP’s brief by designing a visually extraordinary 15 storey residential tower with a narrowed footprint at ground level which contributes to its unusual shape. The narrow footprint gives back 38% of street-level space by providing 43 sq ms of external areas such as a public seating area, landscaping with additional trees and permanent art installations. In addition, existing pavements will be resurfaced, and new pavements introduced where there is currently no pedestrian thoroughfare.
The ground floor lobby of The Beacon will serve as both residents’ reception and exhibition space to display the work of local artists. On the first floor, aLL Design will deliver an amenity space for residents that includes a children’s play area.
The tall, slim apartment building comprises 12 flats, each with private terraces and views over London. 11 of the flats occupy an entire floor plate and the top floor’s duplex plan boasts a roof terrace and two further private balconies.
All of the apartments will adhere to the Lifetime Homes requirements with 10% including step-free wheelchair access.