2 July 2013
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, marked the occasion of the topping out of the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners designed Riverlight development in London’s Nine Elms by giving a speech exclaiming that London is continuing to rise out of the ground, something which he attributes to the Olympics, Great British design and the foresight of developers such as Tony Pidgley.
Riverlight is one of a number of new developments in the Nine Elms area on the south side of the River Thames, which is rapidly becoming a thriving new residential district. Six buildings, housing around 750 apartments, are set in a two hectare site, 60 per cent of which are public gardens and footpaths. Each area of the development is conceived as having its own distinct character. The newly created river walk, slightly raised to allow views over the river wall, opens up a 17metre wide boulevard to the public.
On the Nine Elms Road side the pavement is widened significantly and a series of pocket parks and playgrounds soften the street edge. Public paths link the road and the river at a number of points. Restaurants, bars and cafes will create a social centre around the dock inlet which will help to attract visitors onto the site. The architecture takes its cues from the former industrial warehouses that lined the riverfront. The structure is clearly defined, and bold colours are used to differentiate each of the blocks, the tallest of which topped out today at 20 storeys.