Engaged by a residential developer to investigate the development opportunity of an existing student accommodation building in Kingston-upon-Thames, kbh residential is an informative investigation into what is feasible when a retro first principle is adopted on sites that incorporate existing buildings.
As building costs in London continue to rise and the climate emergency increases, a refurbishment | addition approach to existing building development sites is our first port of call to help clients to unlock development potential in an environmentally friendly manner.
Thoughtfully designed to sit complimentary within the neighbouring conservation area context, the design proposals investigated a range of options, from a simple refurbishment of the existing building up to a more radical, entire strip back of the building to its main frame, the addition of extra floors and new facades.
This latter proposal allowed for the massing of the building to be reinforced at the corner of the site, whilst also retreating where required to sit comfortably against neighbouring buildings and the wider context.
To further breakdown the buildings appearance and mass, the proposals look to offer a range of proportionately sympathetic setbacks/reliefs within the buildings visual make-up. These subtle 'blocks' have then been harmonised with the introduction of a regular rhythm within the fenestration setting out, this again has taken inspiration from many of the historical buildings that sit within the surrounding conservation area.
At ground floor the rhythm of the openings, the proportion of columns and its materiality aims to express the importance of the building base as the unifying element of the formal composition.
With a simple external material palette of brickwork and reconstituted stone detailing, alongside the repetitive yet considered fenestration strategy, the proposal offer the developer client an economical capital outlay for the construction works whilst also allowing the proposed building to sit comfortably yet contrasting within its surroundings.