One Nine Elms

Comprising two imperious, glass-clad towers, the taller of which rises to 58 storeys, One Nine Elms is an ambitious mixed-use development located close to Vauxhall Circus on the south side of the Thames.

Designed by architects KPF, the scheme proposes the creation of an urban oasis set back from the riverbank, and includes residential and commercial units alongside a new public square with shops and cafes, and rooftop gardens with spectacular views. The larger eastern tower will deliver 491 apartments each with a private winter garden and access to communal facilities. The west tower incorporates a four-star hotel within its podium, as well as 6,608 m² of high-quality office space.

The site formerly comprised two existing towers with reinforced concrete raft foundations which required demolition, as well as extensive piled foundations. The proposal was to either reuse these or to stitch new piles in the gaps between the old, and partially design a ground-bearing raft; the decision is dependent on survey results. A large Victorian trunk sewer which is still in use cuts through a corner of the eastern tower, close to the surface. This has been carefully incorporated into the pile design with the slab transferring over. For the foundations, this project required a 4985m³ concrete pour – the second largest concrete pour in the history of London.


Due to the potential for the towers to move in different directions, stability was an issue in the design. Concrete frame construction was adopted for its acoustic properties, post-tensioned to provide the thinnest solution. To reduce column cross-sections we designed embedded steelwork. Taking advice from specialist wind consultants who provided performance criteria, we then undertook feasibility exercises on several different strengthening systems. These included modifications to cladding and increasing the core dimensions, but to reduce the impact on internal layouts, outriggers were selected.

High-rise, mixed-use development close to Vauxhall in South London

London, UK
R&F ONE (UK) Ltd
KPF, Reardon Smith Architects, United
£ 300 million
107,239 m²
on site