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Wed January 20 2021

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Bermondsey airspace plan will see new flats on top of old

25 Nov 20 The London Borough of Southwark’s planning committee has approved construction of a four-storey airspace development in Bermondsey.

The planned development on St James's Road in southeast London
The planned development on St James's Road in southeast London

A new development company called Skyroom plans to add four storeys onto an existing three-storey block of flats by lifting into place prefabricated modular units transported by road from a north of England factory.

The developer said that the new homes would be “installed by cranes over a period of weeks, not years, eliminating the need for existing residents to vacate their homes, and significantly reducing typical disruption to neighbours and the local communities”.

The existing building is a three-storey, concrete and brick apartment block on St James’s Road, SE1. Fifteen new homes will be added in a mix of one, two and three-bedrooms. They will be finished on the exterior with galvanised metallic panels. The interiors will be finished with cork and plywood – “chosen for their beauty and sustainability,” the developer said.

Skyroom’s architect is Southwark-based TDO. The airspace development will be structurally independent of the existing building by means of an exoskeleton, described as proprietary Skyroom technology.

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Fifteen flats will be put on top of the existing block
Fifteen flats will be put on top of the existing block

Skyroom chief executive Arthur Kay said: “At Skyroom, our mission is to help turn London into a city where key workers can be locals in the communities they give their lives to support. With a number of other major projects underway, this marks an important milestone and shows that local authorities are open to innovative solutions when they can demonstrate a positive social and environmental impact.”

Architect Tom Lewith, founding director of TDO, said: “As a practice focused on bringing high-quality design to off-site construction, we are excited to see this pivotal project secure planning consent. The design innovation has been to develop standardised components which together can achieve a customised architectural scheme. It means a lot to us to be working on a site in our neighbourhood.”

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