This project was won as part of an invited, international design competition for the city block known as the Shell Centre ( now Southbank Place ) on London’s cultural Southbank. GRID was selected for a 21 and 11 storey building which form the first phase of the 7 building development and are directly behind the famous London Eye. However the design solution joins them together with glass connection containing duplex, double aspect flats.
The design parameters for the buildings were established by the masterplanner and developed by the architects. The scale, proportions and materials of the facades have been developed so that they have a dialogue with the other buildings on the masterplan, but with their own distinct identity. The GRID design is inspired by the site’s history as the location for the 1951 Festival of Britain. The festival star motif, designed as a banner by Abram Games, is abstracted into the cladding panel pressing it into a 3D form. The panels are either perforated or embossed to allow the panels to be both translucent in front of windows and also solid panels. Elsewhere the motif appears as a sun shielding pergola to the penthouse flats and as a pattern for the front door.
GRID is responsible for all aspects of the design from stone detailing, development of the metal panels and detailed floor plans. The design proposals were well received by the local planning authority, GLA and key stakeholders and were consented in 2013. The overall Shell complex redevelopment start in 2015.