Client: Tunnel Wharf
Date: Completed January 2000
Sir Marc Brunel built the first tunnel under the Thames between Rotherhithe and Wapping – a great feat of engineering – and now the site on the riverside at the Rotherhithe end is owned by Bryn Bird, a leading present day engineer, and his wife June. The conservation area is characterised by a mixture of larger and smaller separate warehouses on the river front, and the new building has to hold the north side of a square, respond to windows in a flank wall on one side and a public open space on the other. The resultant stepped form happily coincides with the requirement to load the off-centred tunnel evenly. Residential upper floors overlooking the river have large areas of glazing set in a strong brick frame resting on the Vierendeel truss of the commercial ground floor. Other elevations are of more conventional stock brick with window openings.