nicholas grimshaw returns to his park road apartment building after 35 years
 

nicholas grimshaw returns to his park road apartment building after 35 years

 

over the past 36 years, grimshaw has become one of the world’s most renowned architectural studios. founded by sir nicholas grimshaw in 1980, the firm now operates globally with offices in new york, london, melbourne, sydney, kuala lumpur, and doha employing over 400 staff. in a new series of films, premiered exclusively on designboom, grimshaw takes a look back at its legacy of work, spotlighting some of its most innovative and important projects.

 

in the first featured film, sir nicholas grimshaw returns to a residential building in london where he lived with his family for six years. completed in 1968, grimshaw, alongside terry farrell, originally designed the park road apartments as part of a cooperative housing society, while he was looking for somewhere to live as a young architect.

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the lightweight construction is distinctive for its curved corners
image © tessa traeger

 

 

as the project was completed on a very tight budget, grimshaw constructed the building as simply as possible. clad in corrugated anodized aluminum with ribbon windows, the lightweight construction is distinctive for its curved corners, which give each unit a continuous, unfettered panoramic view. even the simple double-glazed windows were made by a manufacturer who ordinarily made windows for buses.

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the building is clad in corrugated anodized aluminum

 

 

placing an emphasis on flexible interior spaces, the project was the first residential scheme in the UK with a central core. borrowing from principles of commercial floor plans with lifts, stairs and bathrooms at the center, open-plan living spaces offer maximum flexibility for owners, with more than 70 variations of plan possible for the 40 flats and penthouses.

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open-plan living spaces offer maximum flexibility for owners

 

 

the building also marked the first occasion that a cooperative housing association had won permission to build apartments in central london. this arrangement for procurement allowed owners to avoid developer costs, giving approximately 50% cost savings on the market price. ‘people come and people go and buildings come and buildings go, but it’s come to be a demonstration of the way things can adapt and change over a period of time,’ says sir nicholas grimshaw.

nicholas-grimshaw-returns-to-his-park-road-apartment-building-after-35-years-designboom-x
sir nicholas grimshaw returns to the building for the first time in 35 years

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sir nicholas grimshaw lived in the building with his family for six years
image © tim street porter

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the windows were made by a manufacturer who ordinarily made windows for buses
image © tim street porter

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a naturally lit mezzanine sits above the home’s lounge
image © tim street porter

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the project was the first residential scheme in the UK with a central core
image © grimshaw

 

 

project info:

 

location: london, UK
project type: living
client: mercury housing society ltd
area: 3,300 sqm / 35,521 sqf
status: completed 1968

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