This new, luxury residential-led development is based on an initial concept by PLP Architecture (at the planning stage), which was then developed by Axis Architects (throughout the technical stages); AKT II has worked with Axis Architects to realise the design, for developer Fenton Whelan.
A layered composition of mixed uses that integrates into complicated existing conditions.
AKT II’s structural solution establishes the stepped, ten-storey volume amidst main roads, adjoined third-party structures, and the London Underground’s live Central Line railway tunnels, which pass closely to Park Modern’s foundations. Despite this complex context, the diverse mix of uses is resolved with a rationalised frame and grid, for material efficiency and spatial functionality.
The programme integrates into London’s upmarket Bayswater district, with spectacular views over Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. The scheme provides 57 residences, ranging up to a penthouse, together with a spa, a gym, a 25-metre pool, and a 16 space cinema. Two floors of private healthcare facilities, and several public retail spaces, are also integrated throughout the upper basement and ground level respectively.
The superstructure gradually steps back to form the residential terraces and to allow greater daylight to the ground-level realm. Numerous subtle transfer elements together achieve this finely grained massing with just reinforced-concrete, and no post-tensioning, throughout; this materiality allows a simple and cost-efficient construction, and enhances the flexibility for ‘punching’ MEP services through the floors. All columns are coordinated into the interior layouts, for the best possible floorspace and outward views.
In one corner, the lower levels oversail an adjacent substructure while remaining totally supported on Park Modern’s frame. An adjacent, private residential mews is also carefully interfaced into the new construction.
Below ground, a raft foundation achieves the deep basement excavation with shallow retaining piles, while pressing down on the soil to help protect the nearby infrastructure assets from undue movement. The upper-basement levels allow localised strengthening for heavy medical equipment, while a full-plan isolation plane protects the entire programme from London’s ground-borne vibration.