12 June 2018
Riverlight, a residential-led mixed use development, was today announced as one of the 2018 RIBA National Award winners. These awards are annually given to buildings across the UK which are recognised as contributing in a significant way to architecture.
The Riverlight development is made up of six buildings, arranged in a rising-form composition, varying in height from 12 to 20 storeys, thus giving the development a varied skyline. It includes 813 homes, underground parking, crèche, restaurants, bars, a food store and other retail spaces. The scheme incorporates a river walk and landscaping to take full advantage of its location and create attractive public spaces for the local community.
In the early 19th century, this part of the river was made up of a number of small wharves and docks, gradually replaced over time by other industrial uses. However, in recent years, the site had been used as a delivery depot. The aim was to provide an active retail frontage along Nine Elms Lane and a dock inlet. The scheme has been hailed as playing a formative role in transforming the triangular, five-acre industrial estate – close to Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the River Thames –thus creating a transition between the large footprints of the power station and the smaller residential developments to the east.
RIBA said of the winning project “Aptly named, this series of dense housing fingers responds to its impressive site by cleverly manipulating its mass and circulation to offer daylight and views of the river to all of its residents. Larger maisonettes enjoy the ground plane with their own external private gardens, for those who live above the vertical circulation is brought outside of the building skin offering dynamic expansive views of the landscapes, the city and the river below. A singular move that is extremely successful in creating a sense of place and adding identity to the individuals who live here. In its part, it offers bright sunlit space for all, both externally and internally and in its effortless construction it offers beautiful reflection, a lightness of touch and vibrant colour to this important transition site on the edge of the Battersea Power Station regeneration.”
“The architectural expression of the building takes its cue from the former industrial warehouses that lined the river, with simple lines emphasising the construction of the buildings. Floors alternate between concrete and lightweight steel balcony expressions, helping to humanise the scale of the building and make it legible.” – Graham Stirk, Senior Partner, RSHP
“I think Riverlight is exemplary of a lot of aspects of our architecture. It’s got an expressed structure, which is practical, providing flexible floorplates for the flats within. It utilises classic RSHP features like colour and red and blue funnels to provide pragmatic benefits, like better ventilation at ground level, and a sense of identity for individual buildings that avoids blandness. It also delivers affordable housing on-site, and provides a really lovely environment for residents to live in.” – Stephen Light, Partner, RSHP