Finding the Groove

Residential Development to Invigorate ‘The Old Vinyl Factory’ Masterplan in London

Assembly Buildings

Conceived as a dynamic, mixed-use neighborhood oriented around the historic, 20th-century EMI record plant—where records by The Beatles and Pink Floyd were formerly pressed—this 18-acre site will be restored to include more than 600 homes, 550,000 square feet of office space and a variety of restaurants, shops and cultural venues.

Project details

Sitting at the very center of this masterplan, the Assembly Buildings have been designed as three finger blocks, placed on top of a podium. At eight stories they will form the largest housing plot in the development and contain 180 apartments with studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts.

The ground level will include retail complemented by a pedestrian route dubbed “The Groove,” and public spaces linked by a biodiverse landscaped podium designed by London-based design firm Studio Egret West. The townscape experience is enriched by modest kinks in the street layout which humanize the scale of the massing.

A generous, recessed main entrance will provide connectivity to the public realm with secondary entrances enhancing the sense of place. All four sides of the development will have substantial views as well as natural daylight, with staggered, projecting balconies and full height glazing.

The buildings are characterized by textured materials that tie in with the site’s cultural narrative of process, making and art. Retail units within the double-height ground level will be clad in a mixture of English handset gray-black and silver-black bricks and anodized metal. The façades for the top six stories will be two variants on a common architectural language. Iridescent, fire reduction terracotta panels in ribbed patterns will create rhythm while precast panels will define floor and grid modules to moderate scale.

The design integrates robust sustainability principles through an efficient floor plate, modularized envelope and low embodied carbon principles.

Location
London, United Kingdom
Client
U+I
Size
23,000 square meters
Status
Design Development
Completion Date
2021
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