Ravenscourt House in Hammersmith is a high quality mixed-use development providing student residences and a nursery. We replaced a deteriorating and dated former Police Section House with a building that respects its heritage setting, and used innovative design and construction techniques to deliver a commercially successful and sustainable development within strict budget and programme requirements.
The design of the new buildings is a contextual response; an architectural language that draws on recognisable characteristics of the surrounding Victorian and Edwardian buildings but does not seek to imitate particular styles. Brick is the principal material that changes in tone, and different bonds are used to create subtle variations between the three volumes. The principal frontage to Paddenswick Road is the most dynamic one – a white ground floor plinth gives way to three floors of highly modelled brickwork with projected headers within the Flemish Bond. This energy is enhanced through chamfered window surrounds and two storey projecting bays. The double height windows provide a strong vertical emphasis, an echo of the former Section House. The fourth and fifth storeys are less heavily modelled and capped by a band of intricately detailed brickwork with the headers removed, announcing the material change to the uppermost storeys which are clad in zinc and recessed from the main footprint.
An innovative approach to delivery was essential in order to realise a building of this quality within the cost and programme requirements and to overcome the operational constraints imposed by the restricted site conditions. The design was delivered within the agreed budget through the use of pre-fabricated façade solution by Thorpe Precast, who acted as subcontractors to Balfour Beatty Mansell.
The project is considered to be an outstanding commercial success and is seen by our client as a flagship for their growing operation in the London student residential market.