QUILL, London Bridge SE1

Client: Investream Ltd

The proposition is to demolish an ineffective, outmoded and unsustainable 1960’s building (currently used by KCL for ancillary education support facilities) and replace it with a 109.600m student living scheme for KCL including a gym, library and reading room.

The building arranged over 31 storeys designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating will be able to accommodate 492 students in 470 units.

Sustainable development, good urban design and strong architectural detailing are the key principles that have informed the design - the form, scale and mass of the scheme ensures the integration and interconnection into the existing Southwark fabric and the wider London context.

The scheme proposes a continuous high quality experience that flows easily from the existing street pattern with over 80% of the site being publicly permeable including a new pedestrian connection through the site linking St Thomas Street to Weston Street through a public amenity space appropriately orientated to capture the morning and afternoon sun.

The concept, inspired by the literary heritage of Southwark reinforced by the educational use of the building, is to produce a scheme that breaks the pre-conceived idea of a highly repetitive internal function by creating a dynamic form of interest that delights and inspires.

The expression of freedom reaffirms the spirit of the scheme – the quill concept not only relates to the visual aspects of the feathered writing implement but also the creative liberty of literature and education.

The upper gesture of a free form has the character of the outer fibres of a quill, while the lower parts are more orthogonal and formed by a regular grid that introduces a successful base to the building which references human scale inspired by the strong horizontal language and weight of the railway viaduct and arched rhythms that run its length along St Thomas Street.

‘QUILL’ has been conceived with the highest order of urban design and architectural principle to become a new recognisable landmark for London.


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