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Caxton Works

Kidbrooke

2015-Present

Inspired – in both materiality and form – by the birch trees that line the footpaths around the village, Birch House blends in with the architectural language of the emerging buildings at the centre of Kidbrooke Village.

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Inspired – in both materiality and form – by the birch trees that line the footpaths around the village, Birch House blends in with the architectural language of the emerging buildings at the centre of Kidbrooke Village.
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Strategy

Birch House is the beacon for one of London’s most significant new housing-led developments – a £1bn regeneration scheme led by the Berkeley Group and transforming Kidbrooke Village into a new community, in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Mayor of London.

Location:
London, UK
Client:
Berkeley Group
Role:
Design Architect and Landscape Architect
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The previously consented 6 storey hotel by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

Previous consent had been given for a six-storey hotel on the site of Birch House, and the wider area had planning consent for 4,000 homes and non-residential uses. We could see the opportunity to rethink the planned hotel, the lowest of all the buildings, into the tallest of them all and to further exploit the potential of the site by adding an extra two storeys on each of the buildings adjacent.

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In response to increasing demand for housing and working closely with the Berkeley Group, we successfully put the case across for higher density and 15 extra storeys, and we won planning consent for this landmark 21-storey, mixed-use building right next to the train station.
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Birch House within the wider Kidbrooke Village.

Specificity

Inspired – in both materiality and form – by the birch trees that line the footpaths around the village, Birch House blends in with the architectural language of the emerging buildings at the centre of Kidbrooke Village and with the landscape of the new Cator Park. it is designed to foster a vertical community through well-orientated and well-distributed communal areas: a triple-height lobby and mezzanine workspace, a fifth-floor outdoor play terrace, and a thirteenth-floor sky garden with a flexible dining / yoga / workspace and soft-landscaped terrace with birch trees.

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Each new home within Birch House is designed with a focus on quality of space and the exceptional views towards London’s two financial centres – Canary Wharf and the City of London. All homes have either an inset balcony sheltered from the elements or an expansive terrace.
On the ground floor of Birch House, high-quality restaurant/café and retail space will ensure an active street frontage and will make this landmark building a destination for the wider neighbourhood. Birch House now acts as a visual marker for the village centre and the upgraded Kidbrooke train station.
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Birch House 01
Birch House 02
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By pushing for higher density and a more efficient use of space, we’re delivering 20% more homes across the scheme. We looked carefully at a way of ‘designing out’ most of the plant rooms and reconfiguring flat layouts so as to provide eight additional homes. And by reviewing cladding proposals from brick to a cast-masonry, rain-screen system, we managed to deliver cost-savings through the design and construction of an efficient structural solution.

Sustainability

The well-considered communal areas throughout Birch House underline our commitment to wellbeing and a healthy living environment. As well as balconies, terraces and sky gardens, there are generous open spaces all around the tower, and the nearby Cator Park provides attractive play spaces, a new multi-use games area for older children, and wildlife-friendly areas.

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With so much greenery and open space, Kidbrooke Village has been called Greenwich’s ‘garden suburb’. Birch House, with its sky gardens and terraces visible for miles around, has become part of a high-density, highly sustainable and tree-lined new neighbourhood.

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Birch House on site