Willow Walk, Wandsworth

Major shared-ownership housing led mixed use development for Peabody in Wandsworth

Burwell Architects have developed the design of the Willow Walk project from planning stages, after picking up the project from Rolfe Judd who's planning proposals gained consent by the GLA in 2019. The completed mixed use development of three buildings and public realm contributes significantly to the regeneration of this riverside area of South West London. The project was originally developed and built by Hollybrook, before Peabody acquired the development in 2020.

The project delivers 168 affordable homes (shared ownership) and 3,805sqm of flexible commercial space, with associated amenity space, including roof terrace and balconies, with 384 cycle parking spaces. 40% of the site is provided as landscaped public realm for the enjoyment of the community which includes seating areas, public artwork and children’s playspace. The form of the buildings has been arranged around a central public plaza bookended by two new public spaces. The osiers basket weave served as an inspiration to the architectural detailing of the exterior.

As a reference to the history of the site, the weave pattern is abstracted and incorporated in the façade of specific corners and window details across the scheme. The detail is based on the size of a regular sawtooth brick type that was moulded in a precast concrete panel to achieve uniformity of the texture.

In construction, the project has incorporated a number of innovative offsite production methods. A full precast concrete façade system has been utilised which has windows and balcony stub brackets fitted prior to the façade panels being delivered to site. This approach was adopted to speed up the construction process, whilst achieving a high-quality rainscreen that can be tested for weathertightness prior to delivery on site. The intricate façade was modelled in BIM, allowing the design team to analyse every junction and interface in 3D, which ensured that all of the various compositional elements were carefully articulated with one another within the overall order, thus avoiding any truncated parts. The IFC model was then issued to the specialist façade subcontractor who used this as the basis for their design. Once complete, their model was then issued back to the design team and imported back into the BIM model to check that their support bracketry coordinated with the building structure and internal linings. This facilitated an effective coordination process why spatial and technical connection details were fully resolved across the façade at design stage, enabling a rapid manufacture, delivery, and installation period. This brought considerable programme and cost benefits in comparison to traditional design, coordination and build techniques.

Willow Walk achieved high standards in sustainable design and construction, and minimises carbon dioxide emissions meeting London Plan targets and local policy regarding climate change. The BREEAM Pre-Assessment showed that the new office unit will meet BREEAM Excellent, meeting Wandsworth Council’s Local Plan Core Strategy Policy.

Project Team

Client: Peabody

Stage 1 Design Architect: Rolfe Judd

Stage 2 Delivery Architect: Burwell Architects

Main Contractor/Developer: Hollybrook Homes

Project Data

Construction Completed: 2022

Units: 168

Commercial GIA: 3,805 sqm