Vauxhall Square is an Allies and Morrisons designed project for CLS Holdings that has been submitted as a planning application for London's Lambeth council to pass judgment on.
Set in 3 acres of space on Wandsworth Road and Vauxhall Bondway, the project will contain 15,231 square metres of grade A office space in a 7-storey building, 604 apartments of which 15% will be affordable, 416 student bedrooms, a new hotel, likely to be four stars, with 438 bedrooms and an a restaurant, plus ground floor retail, a four screen cinema intended to serve as a community cinema rather than a big brand multiplex, and two new public squares.
Of the new homes planned, the 510 private ones will be contained in two towers of 168 metre tall each. 85% of these will have their own private mini winter garden. There will also be a concierge service and rooftop gardens.
The square footprints of the towers afford the architects the opportunity to create the most efficient use of internal space possible, with a central core serving each of them. They are intended to be almost identical in design, with projecting horizontal bands of reconstituted stone creating a sense of repetition. Within each of these bands will be dozens of vertical stone fins with the glazing of the buildings sitting behind them.
The 94 affordable apartments will be located in a 20-storey tower situated on Wandsworth Road where Wendle Court currently stands. The student housing will also be in shorter towers than the private residential space of 15 and 25 floors respectively.
Of the two public squares that are planned, the most substantial will be Vauxhall Square which the project takes its name from. This is the public space located in the centre of the scheme, which will be encircled on all sides by buildings. The smaller Miles Square will sit at the end of Miles Street and help connect it to Wandsworth Road improving the permeability of the site.
With so many residential towers the project marks the first time so many tall buildings have been constructed in one small plot by a developer since the last council estates when up in London in the 70s.
If one bears in mind that feasibility studies for the project were first carried out in 2005, with detailed design only beginning in 2010, then the scheme is already about half way through its development process.
Assuming planning permission is granted for the development, the next stage of the project will be to wait for the current occupiers of the site to vacate it which is not due to happen before the end of 2014. Only then will CLS be able to start construction with completion at the earliest at the end of 2017.