St. George Wharf is a large, mixed-use riverside development occupying an 8-acre brownfield site adjacent to Vauxhall Bridge in London. The residential part of the scheme comprises five towers rising in steps to up to 22 storeys, over sailed with ‘gull-wing’ roofs. The striking prow shaped forms are designed to maximise views of the River Thames and to provide deep terraces for the penthouse accommodation. There are a number of on-site facilities available including shops, cafes and bistros situated around the piazza. The development's distinctive silhouette ensures the buildings are one of the Thames' skyline's more recognisable features.
Significantly, it has been widely acclaimed as a model modern method of construction and it is a demonstration project under the Government's Constructing Excellence programme. The exterior is a mixture of sea-green glass curtain walling with reconstructed stone finished precast concrete wall cladding panels and structural balcony units.
The developer St George (South London) Plc, part of Berkeley Homes Group, with architect Broadway Malyan created a long term working partnership with The Marble Mosaic Co Ltd at an early stage of this residential project to give supply chain security and guaranteed quality control. This early involvement also allowed the incorporation of additional features into the off-site fabrication process.
Precast concrete was chosen for the external wall cladding for its well-known advantages of low-maintenance, high quality finish and precision of construction. The size and proportion of the panels were carefully detailed, in particular to provide drainage and run-off for rainwater, avoiding staining. The panels on the upper floors match the appearance of Portland stone while on the two lowest floors the panels match the appearance of pink sandstone. This gives visual strength to the base of the building and echoes the colour of the small-scale red-brick buildings in the vicinity.