Tooley Street Mixed Use
LOCATION: London Bridge, London
GROSS INTERNAL AREA: approx. 94.82 sqm
SITE TOTAL AREA: approx. 31.13 sqm
A Chic Apartment in a Prime Location
The commission involved building an apartment atop a commercial structure to enhance the property's potential. The site's narrow, shallow footprint and its location in a conservation area created unique challenges. Its small size made it difficult to maximize atmosphere, space, light, and comfort of detailing. To comply with conservation standards, the apartment's façade had to complement the adjoining terrace's façade.
The design focused on maximizing the quality and functionality of the small space. Instead of the traditional horizontal open floor plan, a spacious vertical open plan with ceilings as high as 5 to 7.5 metres was developed. This created an airy and a roomy atmosphere as opposed to a stuffy and confined space. In fact, an onlooker can stand on the first floor of the apartment and look up and beyond the second and mezzanine floors to the underside of the roof that forms the ceiling. A steel frame was installed to maximize the flexibility of the internal design, and the flank party walls were enclosed to maximise the internal space. The floors were dropped to introduce an additional level that runs through the first floor window while the second floor windows remain free floating in the façade when viewed internally. The ground floor ceiling was dropped below the shop sign, and a horizontal window that blends effortlessly with the shop was installed to add an extra level to the apartment. Very careful consideration was given to all aspects of the detailing and junction of elements within the building to maintain and complement the harmony of all spaces.
The design gives the client the option to fill in the mezzanine level and convert the large one-bedroom apartment into a two-bedroom apartment. Given the apartment's prime location in London Bridge, the client was advised that quality of space was more important and desirable than the number of rooms. Estate agents, however, advised the client before and during the construction that a one-bedroom apartment would not attract prospective renters. But, upon touring the apartment, the client was convinced it would rent easily without a second bedroom.