Cobalt Tower to go ahead


Lewisham Council have granted permission for Cobalt Tower, a 22 storey ‘marker’ tower which will complete Anthology’s Deptford Foundry development. Currently on site, new ‘contemporary warehouse’ homes inspired by the rich history of the site will be created on a former metal foundry.

The scheme will provide 316 new homes and 30,800 square feet of artist studios / workspace as well as a new pedestrian and cycle route. The former industrial trading estate will be transformed and connected with the surrounding streets.

The design inspiration for the scheme evolved from the history of the company which was based on the site and the site location. J Stone and Co were, for over a hundred years, a thriving marine, railway and general engineering company manufacturing a wide variety of metal items, ranging from copper nails to 17 ton propellers, which were exported all over the world. The site is located between converging railway lines to the north and south with the northern railway line raised on a Grade II listed viaduct.

The new pedestrian and cycle route passes through the three storey colonnade of Cobalt Tower

The scheme consists of eight buildings of varying heights and Cobalt Tower, a distinctive 22 storey tower, a marker at the railways convergence for those travelling in and out of London. The new buildings are situated along the northern and southern edges of the site creating a new central, pedestrian and cycle route through calm and tranquil landscaped spaces. Two new public squares to the east and west mark this new connection with the adjacent streets.

“The architecture is inspired by local history – the warehouses, metal foundry casts and creative industries. The public squares and landscaped route will connect local people to create a new piece of the city.”
Andrew Long, Director, Rolfe Judd

The client brief was to create a new vibrant community, integrated and connected to the local community. As well as providing affordable and private housing the development will extend the local provision of creative spaces for local artists’, craft makers and designers with new affordable studios. The new public route includes play spaces, promotes biodiversity and improves the connectivity of the site with the rest of the borough.

Conceptually the lower buildings are designed as a series of contemporary warehouse buildings in traditional materials (brick and metal) with two visually different ‘marker’ buildings to the public squares. The design for Colbalt Tower was inspired by historic photographs of the stacks of metal mould boxes used in the manufacturing process of the foundry. The tower is spilt into four identifiable vertical metal ‘stacks’ wrapped around a central brick ‘chimney’. The stacks vary in height in response to short and long distance views, creating an identifiable, articulated top to the building.

At ground level through the building there is a three storey colonnade, through which the new pedestrian and cycle route passes, whilst simultaneously creating a dramatic covered entrance. The entrance is further defined by a latticework of metal, inspired by the patterns in the metalwork formerly produced on the site.