DKA designed building A4 signs the District

Greenwich Design District

A pair of creative studio buildings as part of a new district of affordable workspaces

David Kohn Architects has been approached by Assemblage and Knight Dragon to deliver two buildings in the new design district at the centre of North Greenwich peninsula, London. The buildings will provide much-needed purpose-built subsidised space for start-ups, tech incubators, creative industries, and artists. They are due to be complete in 2018.

DKA was tasked with designing the entrance building to the entire complex, adjacent to a major transport interchange and near to the Millennium Dome. Both buildings have a recognisably tripartite urban character, using classical symmetry and composition offset with twists throughout with materials and colours, engaging with rules but wanting to break them, as well. Both structures are further enlivened by six sculptures, renewed every year, that communicate to the public the work that goes on within, and connect to an older, more crafted architectural tradition. Internally the floor plans are divided between a series of acoustically separated, large rooms at the core of the building and open plan spaces around the perimeter.

The first building has a large sign at its head, a grid facade as its body that creates an ambiguous sense of scale, and an open and generous ground floor consisting of large red brick columns and large openings. The second building, located in a less public part of the design district, is designed around the needs of the workshops it will house. With large loading bays, generous window display space for artwork or product display and exposed concrete slabs, it is conceived of as a working building proud of the activities it houses. The buildings as a pair contribute to the robust character of the new quarter while being distinguished in their boldness.

Read about this project:

"Plans unveiled for London's first purpose-built design district"


Building B4 incorporates niches for a rolling programme of sculpture commissions
Scale of a souk with narrow passages, small yards and a central square
Buildings A4 and B4 along the District's western edge
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