Beer had been produced on the site since 1581, making it the oldest continuously operating brewery in Britain. Despite Young’s closing in 2006, a small-scale brewery was maintained on site during construction to ensure the development retained this legacy.
Set within the Grade II* listed brewery complex is a new craft brewery, heritage centre and accommodation for independent retailers, restaurants and exclusive loft-style apartments.
The listed buildings have been carefully integrated into the Ram Quarter masterplan which was conceived as a series of interlinked public urban spaces with the previously inaccessible riverfront of the Wandle featuring enhanced biodiversity, planted terraces, footpaths and three new pedestrian bridges.
Ten lower-level buildings adopt and reinterpret the materials, forms and scale of the existing industrial structures to define the urban edges of the public realm. At ground level, the elevations are enlivened with retail units to create a vibrant and active environment, whilst above, the high-quality residential accommodation benefits from the more tranquil setting of private elevated gardens.
Strategically located at the northern end of the development, the residential tower signals the regeneration of Wandsworth and the rediscovery of the River Wandle. Its dynamic triangular form sits purposefully on the ground and emerges with varying setback terraces to reveal a more slender version of itself.
Whilst the three elevations produce an elegant silhouette, the dramatic angular corners emphasise the building’s verticality and address the three principle approaches from the town centre, the borough and London.
The palette of materials used on the tower contrasts with the predominantly brick façades of the low-rise buildings. Glass is used in varying degrees of opacity, from clear to ceramic-backed and insulated. Punctuated full-width balconies sit around the perimeter of the residential floors with wooden screens to provide privacy and articulation to the façade.
EPR initially worked with Minerva PLC, who had purchased the Ram Brewery site in 2006, and Delancey to define the project brief and submit a planning application. Planning consent was granted in December 2013.
Greenland Holdings purchased the site in 2014 and appointed EPR to develop the first phase of the project up to RIBA Stage 4. Phase 1 occupation took place in December 2018 with the first retail units being occupied during 2019.
Brick Awards 2019: Shortlisted
Client: Minerva PLC; Delancey; Greenland Holdings | Services: Masterplanning; Architecture | Size: 713 apartments; 10,271m² retail space; 552m² heritage centre and microbrewery; 447m² beer tap/restaurant