Green light for 15 new airspace homes in London

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A four-storey airspace development has been given the green light by Southwark Council, which will set a new blueprint for sustainable urban development in London

The airspace development will be delivered by Skyroom and seeks to balance the challenges posed by the climate emergency, by building upwards, not outwards.

The development on St James’ Road will conserve embodied energy by extending the life of the existing building through upgrade works.

To reduce operational energy, it will build the homes offsite and install renewable energy sources for both new and existing homes.

The airspace development is close to major transport hubs and key worker employers, such as Guy’s Hospital.

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Skyroom identified the site using proprietary geospatial mapping technology, developed in-house with funding from Innovate UK, HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey.

Skyroom has appointed TDO to lead the design team, a Southwark-based architecture practice with experience of designing high-quality homes using modern methods of construction.

The airspace development will be structurally independent of the existing building by means of an exoskeleton, another proprietary technology developed by Skyroom.

The new airspace homes will be installed by cranes over a period of weeks, not years, eliminating the need for existing residents to vacate their homes, and significantly reducing typical disruption to neighbours and the local communities.

The existing building is a three-storey, concrete and brick apartment block on St James’s Road. Fifteen new homes will be added in a mix of one, two and three-bedrooms. They will be finished on the exterior with galvanised metallic panels.

The interiors will have self-finishing natural materials such as cork and plywood. With 2.5-metre ceiling heights and large windows, all benefit from ample daylight and dual-aspect views across the city.

Each new home has private outdoor space, and both existing and new residents will benefit from two large planted roof terraces.

‘Turning London into a city where key workers can be locals’

Arthur Kay, chief executive Officer of Skyroom, said: “At Skyroom, our mission is to help turn London into a city where key workers can be locals in the communities they give their lives to support.

“With a number of other major projects underway, this marks an important milestone and shows that local authorities are open to innovative solutions when they can demonstrate a positive social and environmental impact.”

Tom Lewith, Founding Director of TDO, added: “As a practice focused on bringing high-quality design to off-site construction, we are excited to see this pivotal project secure planning consent.

“The design innovation has been to develop standardised components which together can achieve a customised architectural scheme. It means a lot to us to be working on a site in our neighbourhood.”

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