Will Alsop’s practice aLL Design has submitted plans for a 69,471m² three-tower development in Brentford, west London, the architect’s largest scheme in the UK so far
Although Alsop has worked on a number of significant masterplans, including New Islington in Manchester, the practice is expected to deliver almost every element of this 550-home, mixed-use residential and office project, dubbed Capital Interchange Way.
Occupying a 84ha site next to the M4 and a proposed new stadium for Brentford FC (AJ 10.12.13), the scheme features a trio of apartment blocks sitting in a raised park above a new low-energy bus depot.
Supported by Hounslow Council, the project has been hailed as a significant part of the renaissance of the Golden Mile, an industry-lined stretch of the Great West Road running west through the borough from the boundary with Chiswick.
Since the concept for the site was first unveiled in late 2015, the scheme has been revised to include 200 more homes and the tower furthest from the motorway redesigned to become more rectilinear.
Subject to approval, the development is set to start on site in 2017 and complete in 2021.
The architect’s view
This scheme began as a result of TfL and Hounslow Borough Council’s desire to relocate a bus depot from Brentford town centre, to accommodate a new school for the area. The site in Capital Interchange Way was chosen as the best location for a new depot and potentially as a development to signpost arrival into London via the M4, as its position is highly visible from the motorway.
The requirement for the bus depot was of primary importance and led the team to design a mixed-use development that harnesses the newest ideas in technology to create a sustainability-led community hub and an exemplar of environmental engineering that aims for BREEAM Excellent status. The depot is concealed at ground level, recycling grey water from the residential apartments above to wash the vehicles. Heat will be extracted from the ground and captured and re-used from commercial output to supply the needs of people living and working locally.
Detailed studies have been undertaken to measure the impact on well-being of proximity to the M4 and the resultant design positions and shapes the three towers on the site to reduce wind and pollution. The landscaping is carefully designed to bring some tranquility to a harsh roadside environment. This includes recreational facilities and a 4,111m² public park with walkways; seating and water features, grassland and dense flora, together with children’s play areas and a café. Local bee-keepers have been consulted regarding siting hives within the landscape.
The landscaping is carefully designed to bring some tranquility to a harsh roadside environment
Cycle parking of 825 spaces for residents and 121 spaces for commercial and public use will be provided and all three residential buildings have sheltered roof gardens, two of which incorporate perimeter running tracks.
Almost a century ago, the Golden Mile headquartered the forefront of an infant automotive industry in buildings that have since remained architectural icons, not by assuming the standard but by setting it, making life better for those inhabiting or simply experiencing them. aLL Design’s ethos is ‘to make life better’ and this project is an exceptional opportunity to put that into practice.
aLL Design’s submitted planning application for its Capital Interchange Way in Brentford - December 2016
Type of project Mixed Use
Project Manager: F3 Group
Architect aLL Design
Planning consultant Planning Resolution
Structural engineer Atelier One
M&E consultant Battle McCarthy
Quantity surveyor F3GROUP
Lighting consultant Sutton Vane Associates
Start on site date 2017
Completion date 2021
Contract duration 3.5 years
Gross internal floor area 69,471m²
Total cost Undisclosed