In this 45-storey skyscraper, a flagship of the wider Elephant and Castle regeneration project, we teamed up with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and developers Mace to create an icon and one of the tallest residential blocks of its kind in the capital, in the place of a disused hotel.
The scheme provides 470 new mixed tenure apartments alongside local amenities in a new public square; the tower block is octagonal in shape, providing the majority of plots with corner balconies. The environment was a key driver in the concept, and communal roof gardens with spectacular views, a number of green roofs and 500 bicycle spaces were incorporated from the outset to further the development’s green credentials.
A number of innovative construction techniques were considered for the tower; its repetitive, symmetrical nature gave us scope to develop a bespoke system and a high-speed construction method. The resulting framing system works holistically as all elements contribute to the lateral stability system as well as providing vertical support. An arrangement of four internal concrete blade walls provide buttressing to the central core, whilst every floor slab acts as an outrigger engaging eight perimeter blade walls which are also articulated within the facade providing an aesthetic which is true to the structural behaviour of the tower.
The balconies extend over 4 m from the perimeter floor plates, propped by corner cables which provide the necessary damping against induced vibration. These cables then extend to the top of the tower supported by the ‘crown’, again providing a visual link between the architectural language of the development and the structural systems.
Reinforced concrete was chosen for the frame and the 26 × 26 m floor plates, and the floor plan was repeated rising up through the building. A traditional flat slab provided maximum efficiency, so was chosen over the post-tensioned option, despite a slight increase in slab thickness to 250 mm.
High-rise residential block at the heart of ongoing regeneration in Elephant and Castle
Mace, Realstar Group
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Axis Architects