Set within the Vauxhall Nine Elms Opportunity Area, 40-42 Ponton Road was an invited competition winning scheme for the development of 300 private residential apartments. Nine Elms regeneration area is controlled by an overall masterplan though this site is not within but abounds the designated area. The site was former industrial land and in particular Ponton Road, which sits next to a railway viaduct, once contained a train station. The site is split into two plots; GRID was appointed to design the eastern parcel of the site area and Maccreanor Lavington are the architects for the western parcel of the site. An understanding of the overriding design principles of the Allies and Morrison Nine Elms masterplan was essential in driving the built form and architectural treatment and the two architects worked together on materials, heights and public realm.
A key principle for the development is to provide active frontages on all sides to create vibrant streets and promote high quality public realm- even to the railway viaduct which houses new routes to New Covent Garden. The residential accommodation above ground floor level is located round a raised courtyard and maximises river views and views across the new linear park and new American Embassy. Unique design challenges and limitations for this site include the Northern Line extension, running directly underneath the development as well as the South Coast main line railway viaduct dictating southern facade design.
The massing composition has a low horizontal block wrapping round a taller slab block. While the architectural language is the same across the contracting massing the materials are quality brick but with highlights of glazed brightly coloured tiles in the company colours of the railways who once used the site. GRID is also responsible for interior design. The landscape design is by Camlins who are long term partners. GRID has been appointed to construct both buildings on site for private residential, PRS, affordable housing and retail uses. As the site sits above the Northern Line extension construction has already commenced and is due for completion in 2017.