Urban picturesque: Keybridge House emerging

Last week, the distinctive rooftop ‘houses’ at Keybridge House came into view, their pitched white forms striking against the sky. Clad in white glazed terracotta they sit atop 6-storey red brick apartment buildings and are the latest addition to the development, which is currently onsite.

The design and use of materials draws on the residential-industrial mix that is so characteristic of inner London. Utilitarian repetition is mixed with the picturesque detail of London’s Edwardian mansion blocks, many of which can be found in the vicinity. The new neighbourhood also will have a variety of building shapes and scales – from 4-storey townhouses to the UK’s tallest residential brick tower at 37 storeys. It’s a contemporary insertion into a changing part of south London, but one that builds on its intrinsic character and heritage.

On the site of a former BT telephone exchange, Keybridge will provide 470 homes, an annexe for Wyvil Primary School, as well as shops and cafes facing onto South Lambeth Road. The buildings are grouped around a series of landscaped public spaces and a new piazza for an existing church. The project has been designed by Allies and Morrison for BT Property and Mount Anvil.