London: Bermondsey Square
The Bermondsey Square development was undertaken as part of a holistic economic, social, environmental and physical intervention delivered by igloo Regeneration in partnership with Southwark Council, the London Development Agency and the local community.
The main development is set around a new landscaped square which continues to host the long-established Bermondsey Antiques Market. A number of events such as farmers' and fashion markets, exhibitions, outdoor cinema and other community related outdoor events are being programmed.
The private sector housing adds to the mix in an area currently dominated by social housing. The affordable housing element is integral to the overall scheme.
The Bermondsey Square urban regeneration project is a mixed-up property development scheme comprising:
- 76 apartments (2 x studio, 36 x 1 bed, 30 x 2 bed, 8 x 3 bed)
- 35,000 sq ft of offices for multi-lets to a number of creative occupiers
- a 79-bed boutique hotel and associated facilities
- a 55-seat community Art House Cinema
- a Sainsbury's local store
- 6,000 sq ft other adjacent retail units
- An additional site for the delivery of an innovative affordable housing block (the "Island Site")
New public space
Bermondsey Square is located in an area deficient of green and ‘grey' spaces. A major contribution to the regeneration of the local area is the creation of a new public space at Bermondsey Square.
The development of the square from a scarcely used public space into a vibrant hub for the Bermondsey community has the potential for social and economic transformation. It is a small project but an important opportunity to develop as a focus for the neighbourhood: in effect, creating a continuum of rising aspirations across Bermondsey.
Bermondsey Square was home of the long-standing New Caledonian Antiques Market which continued to trade on site throughout construction. The antiques market takes place every Friday morning from 4am and offers space for up to 200 stalls.
igloo's management team are also in discussion with Southwark Council, the London Fashion and Textile Museum and the London's Farmer's Market Association about the development of other market's (fashion and food) in the square.
Commitment to requirements of future generations
igloo has spent time carefully peeling back the layers of history, actively working to keep the antiques market on site and forging links with the business and residential communities that neighbour the square.
igloo are committed to making Bermondsey Square a destination in terms of its community, cultural and commercial appeal. Management and integration of the development is now paramount, with igloo having set up their own management company in partnership with Creative Space Management and Living City to ensure the specific needs of their tenants and residents are met, as well as the needs of the local community. The public space and Square is incredibly important to igloo and as a result they focus on working closely both with tenants and also residents to generate life and activity in the Square and hub. The community management committee is preparing a comprehensive programme of events and activities to become anchors for the Square attracting local people, Londoners and tourists alike.
Designed by East, the space is a canvas for ideas for local people. Simple design elements - including outdoor furniture - encourage all types of activity. The space changes over time for different uses, from a place to have lunch to a venue for outdoor performances or to play boules.
Not only does Bermondsey Square have the potential to become a key community resource and local hub for all kinds of commercial and cultural activity, but it can also make a vital difference to how Bermondsey connects with its neighbours to the north. The railway viaduct is a major barrier to pedestrian movement from Bankside to Bermondsey. With an animated Bermondsey Square, the possibility of change is almost certain and igloo are nurturing local partnerships and branding initiatives to encourage this change.
Bermondsey Square has further applicability to other small to medium-scale regeneration schemes through its demonstration of the application of igloo's strong Socially Responsible Investment policies. Igloo independently audits its performance through the Socially Responsible Investment Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Jonathon Porritt (Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission).
Through the developer, council and community partnership, Bermondsey Square can become a best practice model of the public realm.
igloo is a specialist institutional investor in urban regeneration whose returns are measured over the longer term. This position enables igloo to operate in a different economic landscape to volume housebuilders and developers who are using short term performance measures such as profit-on-cost. Value in igloo is considered from a different angle; Bermondsey Square is a typical igloo regeneration scheme - a slow burner that takes time and energy to fully develop, where integration with the existing community can be seen to enhance returns on that investment.
At Bermondsey Square, additional expenditure on areas such as the commissioning of four firms of architects where the norm would be just one, the support for the antiques market and the nurturing of new businesses such as the Community-based Cinema, has all been undertaken from the sound business base of delivering outperformance to investors: doing well by doing good.
The enhancement of value will be seen during the lifetime of the Square, when the community is established with offices let and apartments sold, with a full programme of events for the Square managed by the community management company, and the Square has become a destination for locals and visitors alike.
The surrounding communities come from varied socio-economic backgrounds with different aspirations and lifestyles. The new scheme will add new residents, businesses and hotel visitors into this mix. Future residents, tenants and users of Bermondsey Square will be able to contribute to the economic and social well-being of this already vibrant community.
- Ten minute walk-in accessibility for multi-modal public transport and no additional parking has been provided. There is 100 per cent provision for cycle storage for the flats, and 16-32 spaces for the offices. Four car parking spaces have been provided for car club use (electric vehicles operated by Streetcar).
- The commercial space on the development achieved BREEAM ratings of Very Good and EPC ratings of B, Whilst the apartments achieved Eco Homes Very Good and EPC ratings of A for energy efficiency and B for Environmental Impact rating.
- One entire block is designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and provides for at least 10% renewable energy throughout the development.
- The mixed-use scheme benefits from a single energy centre with heat exchangers in each apartment and an adiabatic cooling system with natural ventilation delivering 60% reduction in carbon emissions and 50% lower running costs
- Air quality is improved reducing exchange of colds, viruses etc and contributing to the health and well being of the workforce.
- SAP Rating: 93 (Measured against Building Regulation Part L 2006)
- All timber on the development including the Timber cladding is FSC accredit with minimum specification targets established (A+ rating) Materials used are from sustainable sources where possible - solid oak flooring in the living, kitchen and hallway areas and natural stone in the bathrooms.
- Recycling storage and collection points have been sized and incorporated into the building enabling the residents to separate their waste at source for recycling.
- The development achieved a Rating of Best Practice when audited against igloo's footprint policy.