Products used: Brick Feature Arch Lintels
Contractor: Rainsford Contracts
Native’s flagship boutique aparthotel in the bankside conservation area of Bear Gardens is an eight-storey scheme that involves the transformation of three of the five buildings located within the confines of the densely packed area. IG’s brick feature arch lintels feature on the front elevation of the former derelict 19th century Empire Warehouse that has been replaced and linked into a 75-room boutique aparthotel.
SPPARC in association with Southwark Council, Macro Investments and Native wanted to demonstrate that modern architecture can successfully cohabit with the historic collection of buildings informed by the industrial heritage that dominates the southern bank of the River Thames.
A carefully considered restoration and modern intervention was required for a cutting-edge contemporary mixed-use development, offering an urban experience for its users but remaining sensitive to the colourful history, conservation area and surrounding developments.
IG’s technical team designed eighteen brick feature arch lintels to accommodate metal paned and arched factory styled windows. A 2718mm opening span and 143mm rise was required for each prefabricated lintel, each including a 338mm high face brick and 223mm soffit return with either a 78 or 90-degree end skew.
The massing arrangement across each floor ensures that natural light is maximised throughout the building with the intricate brick detailing prominent at street level appearing above impressive double height foyer windows. The offsite construction method used negated the need for skilled brickwork to be created onsite to achieve the decorative brick pattern at a raised height. This helped to reduce any health and safety concerns in a location surrounded by tourist destinations and narrow cobbled streets.
The ground floor of the scheme provides mixed use units with the northern site leased by Bell English Language School and the southern site providing studios for the iconic Globe Theatre directly linking to their Sackler Education Building.
The upper floors are lighter in composition, combining clear and obscure floor-to-ceiling glazing with rich bronze circular rods, creating a strong rhythm to the façade, and enhancing the appearance of the once-dilapidated buildings. The upper floors of the Rose Alley elevation have perforated bronze screens that offer privacy, referencing the loom patterns that were once manufactured in the original warehouse.