London’s Design District officially opens its doors to the public


London’s Greenwich Peninsula Design District has officially opened, with buildings designed by SelgasCano, 6a Architects, Adam Khan Architects, Architecture 00, HNNA, Barozzi Veiga, David Kohn Architects and Mole Architects.

Created by the developer Dragon Knight, the group of workspace buildings for creatives is located near the O2 event arena designed by Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners, also known as the Millennium Dome, at the tip of London’s Greenwich Peninsula.

The Design District is now officially open

The development, which contains a variety of workspaces for 1,800 people, is made up of 16 buildings, with two buildings each designed by eight different architecture studios.

In an effort to replicate the variety of buildings and styles found in cities developed over a long period of time, each of the studios has not been told what the others are designing.

Design district
The SelgasCano canteen is at the forefront of development

“The decision to involve eight leading architects was integral to our vision for Design District from the start,” said Helen Arvanitakis, Director of Design District.

“We were determined to make it a vibrant, engaging and exciting city – a place that pushes you into action and stimulates creative thinking,” she told Dezeen.

“This eclectically calculated approach no doubt created the possibility of clashes and contrasts, but we knew we had to take the risk if we were to build a truly innovative place that would reflect and inspire the diverse creative community it was intended to. to serve.”

Ravensbo by Barozzi Veiga
Barozzi Veiga’s building for Ravensbourne University in London sits next to one of two architects’ blocks 6a

Masterplaned by the British studio HNNA, the buildings occupy a rectangular site directly behind the Gateway Pavilions building designed by Marks Barfield Architects.

Twelve of the buildings are arranged around the perimeter of the site with a square at its center.

“I want them to feel like they’re not in Kansas anymore, that they’ve entered a place separate from the surrounding city,” Arvanitakis said. “I want visitors to feel the need to explore – to look around the corners and to linger in the courtyards.”

“By keeping the building low-rise, encouraging architectural diversity, and avoiding the symmetry and predictability of the urban grid, we made Design District feel as if it had grown organically rather than simply imposed on the Greenwich Peninsula, “she continued.

00s architecture block in Greenwich Design District
Architecture block 00 is topped by a basketball court

Directly behind the Gateway pavilions are a trio of buildings – one by Spanish studios Barozzi Veiga and SelgasCano and one by Architecture 00.

Barozzi Veiga’s aluminum clad building contains additional space for nearby Ravensbourne University in London, while Architecture 00’s concrete-framed building is topped with a basketball court – one of many facilities common areas for people working on development.

Between these two buildings is a transparent structure of SelgasCano which contains the Design District Canteen, which is open to the public and contains a bar and six restaurants.

SelgasCano’s second building is a block that reproduces the style of the canteen, while Barozzi Veiga’s second building is an aluminum clad block on the other side of the site.

David Kohn Architects Building
Design District is written above one of David Kohn Architects’ buildings

To mark the development, the words “design district” were written on a roof mounted sign reminiscent of the first American billboards above one of the David Kohn Architects‘two buildings.

The two David Kohn Architects buildings in the development combine vivid green ironwork with glass blocks and solid red brick columns.

Alongside David Kohn Architects-signpost building stands one block away Adam Khan Architects, which has exposed concrete walls and yellow balconies.

Coworking space of the office in Greenwich
Office occupies buildings by Architecture 00 and HNNA

In addition to the workspaces, a co-working space called an Office occupies two buildings – the second concrete-frame building designed by Architecture 00 and a white building by HNNA with curved white walls.

The interiors of both buildings were designed by UK studio Roz Barr Architects.

Also on the site are a pair of buildings designed by 6a Architects with inclined facades adorned with diamond patterns.

The Mole Architects’ contribution to the development was a Corten steel clad block and a building with a metal facade painted in an “iridescent” color.

One of Mole Architects’ blocks is clad in Corten

Developer Dragon Knight aims to develop a community of creative businesses in the Design District. To attract organizations to development, it offers the units at what it believes to be competitive rates.

Design District will offer a site-wide blended rent target of £ 25 per square foot. Starting at £ 7 per square foot, rents will be scaled according to the workspace to be rented and size and needs of the tenant, and be reviewed regularly, ”said the developer.

“Large organizations will be able to occupy buildings at rents proportional to their size, in order to reduce the rental burden on small businesses,” he continued.

“This rental structure is designed to create an ecosystem of businesses of varying sizes, each contributing according to their means, and ensuring that any individual or organization that wishes to be part of Design District can afford to find accommodation here.”

Mole Architects workspace block
Its second block is covered with metal painted in “iridescent” paint.

Although the district is officially open, the last two buildings – one by HNNA and one by Adam Khan Architects have yet to be built as they have been delayed by disruptions caused by the construction of the Silvertown tunnel under the site.

The photograph is from Taran wilkhu.

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