Riverlight becomes the first scheme to start construction in the massive Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea (VNEB) Opportunity Area, with a ground breaking ceremony today (8 September) led by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Other VIPs include the development's architect Lord Richard Rogers, Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, Tony Pidgley, Chairman of the Berkeley Group and Sean Ellis, Managing Director of St James, the site's developer.
The groundbreaking at Riverlight will unlock huge financial investment in this area beside Battersea Power Station. VNEB will create 16,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs over the next decade. The Berkeley Group, which already builds 20% of all new homes in the capital, is investing £300 million in this area.
Riverlight is set to become one of the capital's most desirable riverside locations. Designed by internationally acclaimed architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and located on the bank of the Thames, next to Battersea Power Station, the development is centered around six elegant pavilions. There are external glass elevators and every apartment has at least one balcony, exploiting panoramic views of London and the river.
The scheme will also boost public access to the river. Remarkably, 60% of the whole development will be devoted to public open space, with a new riverside walk and a pocket park. Three artists have been employed to help enhance the strong sense of place.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "The design standard on this inaugural site in the regeneration of Nine Elms is absolutely spot on, with vast amounts of public space for everyone in the capital to enjoy sitting happily alongside well designed good quality housing."
Tony Pidgley, Chairman of the Berkeley Group, said: "Our intention is to create a place that will grace the Thames, drive investment, and deliver new homes and jobs. We want this to be a world-class example of place-making. It will set a benchmark for the whole regeneration area."
The idea of place-making is at the heart of every development undertaken by St James. A new document published today sets out 10 principles of place-making that inform the distinctive approach taken by all of the companies within the Berkeley Group.
Riverlight itself will provide 752 homes including one, two and three bedroom luxury apartments, alongside a hotel, restaurants, shops and a crèche set in landscaped gardens. There will be 99 affordable homes each built to Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Residents of the apartments will have access to a clubhouse featuring a state of the art gymnasium, swimming pool and holistic spa, a digital entertainment suite with private cinema and virtual golf, a spacious lounge and a library.
Graham Stirk, Project Director, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners said; "Riverlight seeks to achieve a contemporary architectural language that creates its own rhythm, articulation and colouration, defining a unique character and relationship to its riverside context."
The site is located less than a mile from Battersea Park and the Houses of Parliament. Vauxhall Underground and Battersea Park Overground Station are both a short walk away (0.6 miles) and two new proposed Northern Line stations will link Riverlight to the City and London's West End in less than 20 minutes, together with a new footbridge to St George's Square in Pimlico.