Bermondsey airspace plan will see new flats on top of old

The planned development on St James's Road in southeast London
The planned development on St James’s Road in southeast London

A new development company called Skyroom plans to add four storeys onto an existing three-storey block of flats by lifting into place prefabricated modular units transported by road from a north of England factory.

The developer said that the new homes would 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, SE1. 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 be finished with cork and plywood – “chosen for their beauty and sustainability,” the developer said.

Skyroom’s architect is Southwark-based TDO. The airspace development will be structurally independent of the existing building by means of an exoskeleton, described as proprietary Skyroom technology.

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Fifteen flats will be put on top of the existing block
Fifteen flats will be put on top of the existing block

Skyroom chief executive Arthur Kay 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.”

Architect Tom Lewith, founding director of TDO, said: “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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