bear lane, southbank

Location: London
Client: Galliard Homes
Status: Completed 2009
Budget: £12 million

Comprising ninety 1 to 3 bedroom apartments with five retail/business units activating the ground floor.

“Bear Lane deliberately seeks to embrace a specific individual character, drawing on both an industrial and domestic language that animates the building and sparks a kind of drama and delight.”
Architecture Today, May 2010

The retained corner pub was critical to defining massing
An existing public house remains on the south edge of the triangular site. Through extensive consultation with the local planning authority, the scale of the development mediates and accommodates this and any likely future development in its place.

Creating a façade that alludes to individuality
The scheme respects the scale, typology and language of the existing surrounding Victorian warehouse buildings by making maximum use of the site area and the use of brick as the predominant material. Subtle shifts in the façade plane and a repeated use of a select number of details results in a strategy that deals with the curved site plan with a series of faceted bays that further subdivide in height, implying a cluster of homes arranged together.

Great homes result from contextual massing
The heights, ranging from 2 to 9 storeys and driven entirely by their varied context and orientation, results in a great array of homes with extensive private roof-top terraces.

A landmark scheme near Tate Modern
The project created a landmark mixed-use development when completed in 2009. It challenges the repetitive facades of typical high-density apartment blocks in a creative manner by articulating the elevations with a tangible human scale.

Keith Collie

AJ Online - Inspiring housing #4: Sally Lewis on Bear Lane
Building Magazine - Have you met the Tate's new neighbours?
Building Design Magazine - Housing Supplement
2011 RIBA Award London - Winner
2011 Stirling Prize Longlist
2011 Housing Design Award - Shortlisted
scheme in context with massing stepping down towards the retained corner pub
view towards tate modern along great suffolk street
aerial view of model with homes wrapping a central courtyard
individual bays project in and out by one brick-depth to articulate the facade
massing is detailed to read as a collection of townhouses and maisonettes
stepped massing creates numerous private roof terraces for the larger homes
5 years after Tate Modern's opening, this nearby site was still ripe for development
concept sketches and models evolving residential facades with discernible character
the tight site dictated enriched blank facades to deal with privacy issues between homes