SPPARC has completed Native Bankside, Native's 5,912 sq. ft flagship London aparthotel in the Bankside conservation area of Bear Gardens. The conservation area includes five buildings of which the scheme sees the transformation of three 19th century warehouses into a 75-room boutique aparthotel, with ground floor mixed-use space that includes accommodation for the nearby Globe Theatre.
Through carefully considered restoration and modern intervention, SPPARC has given the three principle buildings a new identity which celebrates the colorful history of the site. The eight-storey scheme offers a contemporary urban experience for its users whilst remaining sensitive to the conservation area and surrounding developments. The courtyard to the front of the building, historically a site for bear-baiting, is retained and restored to maintain this remnant of the medieval street pattern.
Originally the home for E. Newman & Sons, the creators of card patterns for weaving looms, SPPARC's reimagining of this uniquely historic collection of buildings was informed by the industrial heritage that dominates the area. The entrance to the aparthotel uses the original retained façade of part of the existing Empire warehouse and 1-2 Rose Alley. A BREEAM 'excellent' rating was achieved through following the Mayors green energy hierarchy and an enhanced thermal performance through the buildings external fabric.
"Inspired by the rich history of the area, we have worked closely with Southwark planners, Macro Investments and Native to deliver a cutting-edge contemporary mixed-use development in the heart of Bankside demonstrating that modern architecture can successfully cohabit with our heritage fabric," said Trevor Morriss, Principal at SPPARC.
With an impressive double height foyer, the interiors were also designed by SPPARC and offer a combination of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, all of which are bespoke in layout with generous square-footage kitchenettes and living quarters with elegant furnishings. Guest facilities include a 24-hour concierge, fitness suite, pantry area and co-working space, offering a unique home-from-home in the heart of Southwark.
The ground floor of the scheme will provide mixed-use units with the northern site leased by Bell English Language School and the southern site providing studios for the iconic Globe Theatre directly linking to their Sackler Education Building. In the lower floors, board-formed concrete and exposed brick walls are complemented by original-style arched metal framed windows. The upper floors are lighter in composition, combining clear and obscure floor-to-ceiling glazing with rich bronze circular rods, creating a strong rhythm to the façade and enhancing the appearance of the once-dilapidated buildings. The upper floors of the Rose Alley elevation have perforated bronze screens that offer privacy and reference the loom patterns that were once manufactured in the original warehouse.
Extensive solar studies were undertaken to determine the massing arrangement and ensure that natural light is maximised throughout the building, creating a bright and attractive environment for its users.
Photography: Ed Reeve