The Corniche is a mixed-use development of three landmark towers along the Albert Embankment on the south bank of the River Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The buildings range from 15 to 27 storeys in height and provide 253 apartments, including affordable homes for senior living, along with offices, restaurants and a residents’ bar, gym, pool and spa. They contribute to the wider regeneration of the Nine Elms development zone, a 195-hectare development between LambethBridge and ChelseaBridge of 16,000 new homes, which represents the largest urban initiative of its kind in Europe.

The apartments are designed from the inside-out, as the residential units define the proportions and slender volumes of each building, and the generous living spaces extend into the deep bays that give the scheme its distinctive character. At the same time, the architectural response is sensitive to the scale, massing and materials of neighbouring structures. The balconies frame spectacular panoramic views – unlike typical box-like enclosures, the curved gardens in the sky allow wide, ‘cinemascope’ perspectives of the river and Parliament. Their curvilinear form is further emphasised by highly reflective, metallic detailing, designed to catch the sunlight.

At ground level, the light filled entrance lobby is set back from the road to create a dramatic sense of arrival. The development includes restaurants and tranquil gardens, which are screened and protected from the road by a landscaped water feature and seating areas. Combining places to work with new public spaces, community facilities and exceptional residences, the scheme’s dynamic mixture of activities will reinvigorate and transform the waterfront in the heart of the city.

Construction

Facts + Figures

  • Appointment: 2012
  • Area: 33,000m²
  • Client: St James Group Ltd
  • Structural Engineer: Davies, Maguire + Whitby
  • M+E Engineer: Hoare Lea
  • Landscape Architect: Townshend Landscape Architects