6a architects . photos: © Johan Dehlin
First official pictures of 6a’s twin buildings at Greenwich Design District.
Construction is complete on a pair of un-identical twin buildings that slope steeply on one side to open views through Design District London. The Millennium Dome (now rebranded as the O2) began the process of regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula which has now grown into one of the largest real-estate developments in Europe. Residential towers rise along the riverside enclosing a new park, underground station and the Greenwich Design District, which comprises of a low-rise village of sixteen buildings and a market hall for creative industries and manufacturing.
The two buildings, A2_B2, provide light industrial spaces on three levels with workshops and retail at ground floor. The floor plates are rectangular but they narrow with each storey height offering each floor a different proportion and character. The buildings are wrapped by a diamond pattern of glass and stone cladding inspired by the improbably precise graphic sculpture of Richard Artschwager. The contemporary vernacular exposed by Artschwager’s Formica assemblies parallels the layered construction of contemporary commercial construction. Modern building regulations, economics and technology have turned building into multi-layered assemblies of products from plasterboard finishes to silicone bonded stone cladding. A2_B2 turns this into a playful language of surfaces, some raw and rough, other smooth, articulated by exaggerated metal gutters, drainpipes, air ducts, vents and CCTV. Each building deploys its catalogue of surfaces and things slightly differently in response to its site and neighbours.