Movement made Concrete

Patel Taylor adds a twist to south London’s skyline with Lombard Wharf


Patel Taylor has completed its latest contribution to London’s riverscape, Lombard Wharf. Designed for Barratt London, the development sits on one of the last remaining riverfront sites in the London Borough of Wandsworth. The building, with a distinctive tear-drop shaped plan, appears to twist as it rises, thanks to subtle changes in the positioning of the white precast-concrete balconies. This creates a kinetic appearance which belies the use of repeating modules. The 28-storey building comprises 134 one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes, alongside a newly-planned footbridge and part of the Thames path.

ph: Peter Cook

Creating an elegantly unusual form and opening up the surrounding area and public realm through an imaginative approach to landscape, the development has been praised by Wandsworth Council.


Unlike most riverside developments, Lombard Wharf does not have a discernible front or back. “Riverfront buildings have a propensity to face the water”, says Pankaj Patel, director at Patel Taylor. “We wanted Lombard Wharf to look equally attractive from every view point, acting as a marker on the river whilst not turning its back onto the city.”

The building’s curved form is intended to ground it in its site, creating a sense of place that is enhanced by the opening up of two adjacent railway arches, one of them containing a workshop space and the other a pedestrian footpath, linking two sides of the railway line. “The creation of a new public plaza is at the heart of our vision, opening up a link from west to east.”


“The dynamic form of the building grows from this public space, with a sculpted form twisting upwards to give panoramic views to all homes. The shape relates equally to landward and riverside vistas, becoming a legible marker to the proposed pedestrian footbridge northwards to Imperial Wharf and the focus at the threshold of this new London link.”

ph: Peter Cook

The wraparound balconies are designed to rotate by two degrees, maximising views from the residences. From a distance, they dominate the appearance of the building, creating a dynamic yet monolithic sculptural form, and at night the building’s balcony fronts are lit with LED lighting, tracing its shape in the skyline.

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