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Sheppard Robson submits plans for £75m London resi scheme

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Plans have been lodged for a residential project in Woolwich, south-east London, designed by Sheppard Robson 

Proposals for the £75 million scheme in Wellington Street include 316 flats, a cinema, the new home for the Millennium Performing Arts dance school, food outlets, cycle spaces and disabled parking. 

Backed by Real Estate Investment Management, the proposed 33,891m2 project involves the demolition of a number of buildings on the former Greenwich University site, as well as the refurbishment of several Grade II-listed buildings.

The listed buildings, largely constructed between the 1890s and 1960s, include a gymnasium, rotunda and polytechnic building. No listed buildings will be demolished. 

Sheppard Robson partner Alan Shingler said: ‘The design was informed by a series of careful interventions which sought to preserve the character of the site whilst adding new pieces of distinctly modern design.

‘Through close analysis of the site and immediate urban context, we wanted to create a family of architectural styles, both old and new, that was brought together by lively public space at its heart.’

The design is intended to be ‘sympathetic’ towards the Victorian buildings on site and includes five new brick blocks, as well as taller buildings made with ‘lighter brick’ of up to eight storeys. 

Architect’s view

The design of the £75 million development revolves around a cohesive architectural language that is distinctive yet sympathetic to the surrounding, mostly Victorian, buildings and high streets. Subtle variation in materiality, form and proportions help give the project an overall feeling of clarity and quality, responding to the urban characteristics of the adjacent Bathway Quarter as well as improving connections with the Love Lane and the Powis Street retail area.

Positioned strategically on a 1ha site are five new brick blocks that knit together the urban block and help define the project’s new public space. The lower-rise blocks follow the site perimeter and are formed of red brick; the scale and materiality of these are consistent with the adjacent highstreets. Further rooting the perimeter of the Wellington Street elevation within its high-street context, the rooflines of the design are animated by a series of metal, geometrically faceted dormers that relates to the varying and more decorative rooflines found on the street.

The Thomas Street elevation responds to the differing architectural characters found around the perimeter of the site, with a roofline made up simpler forms, reflecting the street’s more regular architectural styles. The façades are defined by a repetitive rhythm to the windows, which are either flush or recessed, depending on the orientation and the solar shading required.

The facades of the perimeter buildings consist of single-height bay forms, while the three taller buildings have a double-height bay structure to the facade, helping these larger structures sit comfortably within their urban setting. The taller buildings are designed in lighter brick, with these distinctive forms signifying the entrances to the new public realm that sits in the centre of the development.

View the planning application here 

Project data 

Location Woolwich, London
Type of project Mixed-use: residential, office, retail and community
Client Real Estate Investment Management
Architect Sheppard Robson
Townscape consultant Montagu Evans
Heritage consultant Donald Insall Associates
Gross internal floor area 33,891m2
Total cost £75 million

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