Phase 1, Prince of Wales Drive in Battersea completes

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Phase 1 of the residential development Prince of Wales Drive in Battersea has completed. Design Delivery Unit were the delivery architects for the scheme, which has redeveloped a former National Grid Gas holder site to provide a residential led, mixed-use development for St William Homes LLP. It is unique in the U.K. for its adoption of the former gas holder’s subterranean structures as permanent formwork for the basement.

With concept architecture from Squire and Partners, the development will ultimately deliver 955 new homes across 3 phases, including 229 housing association homes for low cost rent and shared ownership, and wider community benefits. Set within 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens, Prince of Wales Drive is located moments from Battersea Park and Battersea Power Station, and is within one mile from Chelsea and the King’s Road.

Phase 1 sees the completion of four residential blocks: Chartwell House, Kensington House, Radley House and Huntington House. Traditional brickwork, inset balconies and metal work take inspiration from the Victorian architecture of the local mansion blocks that frame Battersea Park. Whilst the interior design pays homage to the site’s industrial heritage, with bespoke brushed bronze metal features and door ironmongery that echo the structure of the original gas holders.

Prince of Wales Drive will bring £34.4 million of Community Infrastructure Levy contributions to the local area including: a Gym Group gym, 65,000 sq. ft. of office space, a new nursery for 0-5 year olds, a café and additional food and retail units.

Appointed to optimise the planning permission and deliver the scheme, Design Delivery Unit introduced a further 116 units by enhancing the floorplates without significantly altering any of the façades. In their delivery of Phase 1, the team have also developed a strategy for historic structures, influencing the methodology for the development of twenty National Grid sites and in turn, 20,000 new homes.

The distinctive utilisation of the former gas holder below-ground structures as permanent formwork supports the new basement perimeter walls. Within one of the gas holders, Design Delivery Unit created a second basement level utilising the pre-existing gas holder’s structural depth. It is now home to a gym and spa.

“This has been a successful collaboration working in partnership with our client, St William and the concept architect to set the tone for future gas-holder redevelopment sites.” [Richard McCarthy, Board Director]

Whilst safeguarding the original design intent, the delivery team also made priorities of health and safety, construction time and sustainability measures. The scheme maximised the use of prefabricated elements through the introduction of bathroom and utility pods, prefabricated façade elements and structural elements, which improve health and safety and construction time. Enhancements were made to the rain water harvesting strategy, and further changes and strategies went on to secure BREEAM initiative points.

With Phase 1 now complete, Design Delivery Unit have returned to site to progress the work on Phase 2 and a further 4 blocks.

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