April 2017

Former government offices in the heart of London have been replaced by Riverwalk, a new residential development, which is equipped with a custom Levolux screening solution.

The striking development, which stands to the north of the River Thames, next to Vauxhall Bridge, comprises two residential towers linked by a central podium. The development accommodates 116 highly specified one, two, three and four bedroom apartments and penthouses, with a focus on light, space and service, as well as exceptional views across the River Thames.

The architectural concept of the building, which was designed by Stanton Williams, takes its inspiration from the sinuous curves of the river as it winds past the site. The building’s gentle, interlocking form responds to this movement and opens up the residential apartments to the panoramic river views.

As the UK’s leading screening specialist, Levolux was approached to develop a custom screening solution, applied at ground floor and at roof level on each of the two towers. The solution comprises Levolux’s Vertical Fins and Contour VLS 100 Louvre system.

The custom screening solution satisfies three challenging criteria. Firstly, it presents an attractive façade which obscures the view of unsightly structures, at ground and roof level. Secondly, it integrates seamlessly with the building’s external envelope, accommodating ramped areas at the base of the building. Finally, the louvred facades incorporate a series of manually operated and motorised louvred doors and gates.

Levolux’s Vertical Fins are used extensively to screen plant and service areas. Rectangular-shaped Fins, each formed from a single-piece aluminium extrusion, measure 75mm wide by 10mm thick. The Fins are fixed into frames, set at 58mm centres, with perforated mesh backing.

In total, Levolux fabricated almost 2500 panels by hand and are designed to fit in a specific position. The panels combine to form a series of continuous, vertical screens that vary in height, from 500mm up to 3.2 metres and compensate for ramped areas at ground level.

Within the covered main entrance at the centre of the site, Levolux installed an attractive louvred façade incorporating a pair of motorised, louvred gates and two manually operated single louvred doors. The gates and doors, which are fitted with the same Vertical Fins, provide access to the basement car park and to a cycle store and service area, respectively. Integral access controls, including video intercom and proximity readers, ensure safe and secure access.

Elsewhere at ground floor level, the Vertical Fins create a vertical screen around an electrical substation area. The louvred façade incorporates single and double louvred doors, with hidden fixings and handles. Some doors are manually operated, while others are power assisted, with integrated access controls.

At roof level on both the 7-storey and 17-storey residential towers, the Vertical Fins have also been incorporated into plant screening enclosures. The vertical screens, standing up to 2.3 metres in height, extend continuously around the curved perimeter of both roof areas.

To the east of the lower level roof area, louvred bi-folding doors are included. The doors are specially engineered to be swung back manually to reveal a 3.5 metre-wide opening. This allows a BMU to be manoeuvred out of site when not in use.

Levolux’s Contour VLS 100 Louvres were chosen to form a ventilated, louvred façade, to screen ground floor plant areas. The horizontal Louvres, which feature an attractive ‘S’ shaped blade, are fixed at a pitch of 100mm and are backed with birdmesh. This combination delivers the optimum airflow, weather resistance and presents a clean, uncompromised external aesthetic.

All aluminium components, including the Contour Louvres and vertical Fins, have been given a grey brown powder coating for long-lasting good looks.

Riverwalk is an uncompromised residential development in an iconic setting in central London. It showcases high specification materials and a meticulous attention to detail, which is reflected in the innovative screening solution which was designed, manufactured and installed, courtesy of Levolux.