Los Angeles, California, United States
Thames City is a key part of Nine Elms, Europe’s largest regeneration zone. Born out of SOM’s New Covent Garden Market Plan, Thames City provides around 1,500 new homes overlooking the River Thames and over 2.5 acres of interconnected publicly accessible space. In addition to the planning of the site, SOM designed three residential high-rise buildings that prioritize livability, quality, and comfort.
Providing a mix of various-sized homes to the area, two towers in Phase 1 of the development—No. 8 and No. 9—rise from a podium housing daily amenities for residents, including a gym and 30m x 20m swimming pool. To cultivate a sense of community and multi-generational appeal within the buildings, a variety of common spaces—private dining areas, entertainment spaces, screening rooms, a library, and a children’s play area—provide residents with opportunities to socialize beyond the confines of their homes.
The buildings’ facades are inspired by the vocabulary of the site’s riverside context, finished in textured and folded aluminum and Portland stone. Measuring 53 and 36 storeys respectively, each tower is divided into four vertical striations, offset in plan to maximize apartments with multiple river-facing exposures while maintaining privacy between each. At the top of each tower, the vertical bundles progressively step back, providing generous roof terraces with a mix of private and shared spaces and spectacular views across the city’s skyline.
Reimagining the great estates of central London, in which residential buildings are sited around a central garden square, the podium is landscaped with a variety of trees and plants. Designed to cascade down to a new linear park that will run the entire length of the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area, the garden affords residents a restorative space to dwell, relax, and congregate.
It creates a sense of community, as everyone comes through a single entrance.
Situated to the north of the linear park, each floor of the 20-storey No. 6 building is home to a single apartment with amenities such as dedicated parking, a rooftop pool, and a terrace. Featuring a pre-cast concrete facade with brass detailing, the building represents a modern interpretation of the area’s architecture.