- Original design
- Maccreanor Lavington, 2018
The 2018 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2019 programme mid-August.
Blackfriars Circus is located at the southern end of Blackfriars Road, adjoining St George’s Circus. Bounded by Library Street to the south and Milcote Street to the east, it forms a major frontage to both Blackfriars Road and St George’s Circus.
St George’s Circus and Blackfriars Road are unique morphological elements within London. Following completion of the Blackfriars Bridge in 1769, urban development began to move south of the river. Blackfriars Road was constructed as a key avenue within the city, terminating at St George’s Circus. Part of the original Georgian planning includes the obelisk, designed as a landmark and visual focus.
To this day, St George’s Circus is a focal point for connectivity, marking the confluence of five major routes to river crossings – Lambeth Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge and Southwark Bridge.
Barratt London’s Blackfriars Circus is an architecturally exciting, residential-led mixed-use development in Southwark, central London. Previously occupied by 30 to 40-year-old commercial buildings, the 1 ha site is located at the southern end of Blackfriars Road, adjacent to the St George's Circus Conservation Area.
Barratt London's Blackfriars Circus is a new mixed-use development comprising 336 new homes in a mix of studios, one, two and three-bedrooms, across five distinct buildings. Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects, Maccreanor Lavington, the project also creates new public spaces and pedestrian routes – opening the space for the first time in generations.
A contextual response to heritage assets and the St George’s conservation area has guided the development’s layout and massing strategy. The façades have been designed to operate at different scales: urban, building and dwelling simultaneously.
Maccreanor Lavington sought to provide a classical yet contemporary architectural language with a refined detailing and material quality, referring to the enriched facade treatments of the 19th and early 20th century London warehouse.
A key design decision taken early in the process was that the scheme should seek to formally engage with the Circus, and its historical significance. The proposals front the Circus, and its arms, in a positive urban fashion and reinstate the concave Circus elevation in keeping with George Dance the Younger’s 1809 masterplan.
The façades to St George's Circus reflect a formal reading of the neighbouring Duke of Clarence, in particular, the concave façade towards the Circus and the obelisk. In response to St George’s Circus, the southern block steps down to seven storeys, with a setback top floor, striking a balance between the various building heights around the Circus. The tower is deemed to be an urban marker operating primarily at a district and city scale. Blackfriars Road starts a distance north of the actual Circus, and it is at this important point that the tower is situated. It is designed to grow out of the street elevation, whilst positively defining a principal new public space nestled off Blackfriars Road.
Extensive studies of the tower shape demonstrated that a hexagonal plan would result in the most slender tower, reducing its visual impact from all angles. In addition, the hexagonal plan shape allows the tower to be aligned with Blackfriars Road while symmetrically addressing the centre of St George’s Circus and the new public space on the east side.
Although the five blocks are strongly related, each has its own distinct character, enriched through its detailing which subtly changes with its orientation, thus responding to different contexts. Only the landmark tower has a uniform all-sided character, connecting to an extended urban context.
There are no projecting balconies along Blackfriars Road and on the Circus block – instead, winter gardens ensure that the apartments’ amenity spaces are protected from busy city traffic. External balconies, with their more domestic character, are placed on the quieter elevations.
A palette of high quality, durable materials was chosen to ensure the buildings of Blackfriars Circus will mature gracefully, becoming richer and looking better over time.
Barratt London is a market-leading residential developer, with over 30 years’ experience in the Capital, delivering over 2,000 new homes in London each year. Barratt London is committed to providing an unbeatable customer experience and developing exceptional homes for all Londoners. We have an extensive portfolio of residential developments and partnerships delivering homes across the Capital for all Londoners, from state-of-the-art penthouses in the City of London to complex, mixed-use regeneration schemes in Hendon.
Barratt London is part of Barratt Developments PLC, the UK’s largest housebuilder.
Established in 1991 by founders Gerard Maccreanor and Richard Lavington, Maccreanor Lavington is recognised for its rigorous research in masterplanning and the built environment, continually engaging in discussion and contributing to setting the agenda within the housing sector.
With studios in London & Rotterdam they have accumulated a number of prestigious awards, including Housing Design Award 2017 for Garden Halls, a student residential project in Bloomsbury, overall winner of The Brick Awards 2017, a 2017 RIBA National Award for Enfield’s first social housing project in forty years, Dujardin Mews, and a RIBA Stirling Prize in 2008 for the Cambridge housing project, Accordia.
The practice works in housing, education, leisure and large mixed-use developments across the UK and we have played an integral part in contributing to research on the growth of our outer London towns and cities, commissioned by the Greater London Authority and the Outer London Commission to publish a Housing Density Study.
Both partners sit on a number of London Design Panels and Richard Lavington is currently a Mayor’s Design Advocate.