Eight architects, 16 new buildings and one masterplan have come together in the Greenwich Peninsula to build a community for ‘creatives’ that’s full of ‘energy and charm’.
Design District’s director, Helen Arvanitakis, says the regeneration aims ‘to build a community who can connect with each other […] a totally fantastic ecosystem’ where 1,800 ‘creatives’ will work.
The development, piloted by developers Knight Dragon, is an example of building somewhere out of nowhere. Perhaps previously constrained by the requirement that certain views of the O2’s structure must be preserved, the area is now a thriving community of creatives.
We worked with Roz Barr Architects at the specification stage, collaborating to find a system that suited what they were trying to achieve. We recommended the heading finish of all curtains, and a range of motorised and standard curtain tracks for the fabrics they had already decided on. All fabrics were from Kvadrat, achieving excellent sustainability ratings – with Greenguard Gold certification across all, and EU Ecolabel on two out of the three fabric ranges chosen.
Following our consultation and recommendations, we were instructed to manufacture and install all 25 curtains throughout the building for a range of applications. From complex high-level motorised curtains around the building’s perimeter to acoustic curtains for the phonebooths and pods.
All roller blinds throughout the building were also supplied and installed by Waverley.
The challenges and solutions
The first challenge was the fixing grounds. Due to the nature of the ceiling, which was designed with exposed services, we determined it would be a challenge to fix the curtain tracks to the ceiling without overcrowding the exposed services. The architect worked with a fabricator to ensure sufficient suspended fixing grounds, to safely secure our tracks.
Another challenge we faced was the curtain track design. Every curtain we manufactured and installed was curved. In particular, the complex high-level curtains did not follow an exact radius, but rather the undulating façade, creating the striking design that makes Building C3 unique. Our surveyor visited site to get accurate measurements prior to manufacture.
With some fixing heights at 6m and others at a lower level, all fixings were visible, so we had to work to our best standards. Furthermore, all tracks using minimum fixings were required to be lowered, to ensure services were avoided.
The alignment of the two-tone fabric was also key. Some curtains had two different colours split equally which had to be lined up perfectly around the room.
The wave curtains also had to be spaced perfectly off the walls to allow just enough room for the curtains to run behind the columns.
Every challenge we faced required close collaboration across our project management and specification teams. From measuring and manufacturing, to installing the products on-site – it was a great project that was enjoyed by all involved.
Simon Gould, our Project Manager on this project, commented on the outcome – ‘it was a great challenge, and the overall finish looks stunning, adding to an impressive space’.
On the ground floor, the café has several floor-to-ceiling wave curtains (6m) in Campas 300 – a sheer textile from Kvadrat – 5.5m of which is 0104 White, the bottom 0.85m 0124 Cream.
The lounge area also features wave curtains with Divina Melange 3 from Kvadrat – a vibrant piece-dyed woollen upholstery textile reminiscent of felt – great for acoustic performance. These curtains follow the perimeter of the building, much like the ones in the café.
On the first floor, we installed two divider curtains for an informal meeting area – these were made up of Divina MD by Kvadrat, in colour 0713.
On the second floor, we installed a range of acoustic curtains for informal meeting areas and smaller ‘phone booth’ areas. In both cases, Divina MD by Kvadrat in colour 0713 was chosen.
Building C3 is perhaps among the most striking buildings in the development, with a clean white exterior that is interrupted by large windows of different sizes.
Designed by Roz Barr, the interior is equally as fascinating. The design includes several meeting rooms, acoustically adapted suites for video conferencing, a dedicated events space, breakout spaces, and four distinct lounge areas across four floors.
The curtains play an important role in making the space more inviting and less ‘harsh’. The range of sheer and acoustic textiles chosen have added the finishing touch to an atmosphere perfect for the London based creative.