London firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has completed NEO Bankside, a set of six-sided apartment blocks beside the Tate Modern art gallery on the edge of the River Thames.
Like the Centre Pompidou and many other buildings designed by studio founder Richard Rogers, the four towers feature external bracing systems that form a steel diagrid across the facades.
These supports carry the weight of each structure, preventing the need for load-bearing walls inside the building and in turn allowing flexible layouts on different floors.
“A key feature is the external bracing, which allows a fantastic amount of flexibility inside the apartments,” explained Graham Stirk. “All the walls internally are non-structural, which means we have been able to open up the floor-to-ceiling space much higher than in a conventional apartment. That has enabled us to maximise daylight and the views.”
The towers range from 12 to 24 storeys in height and all four feature balconies on the north and south elevations.
“The four pavilions make up a family of buildings, a series of four towers of different heights bound by a very strong three-dimensional geometry,” said Stirk.
The exposed steel structure is also intended as a nod to the industrial heritage of the area, which was once home to a large oil-fired power station (now Tate Modern).