rl-3-hdrA residential space surrounded by a picturesque riverfront in Battersea has been transformed into a tranquil and welcoming area, as part of a 200-million-pound mixed-use scheme in the heart of London’s Southbank. Put forward by Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, the Riverlight development was created to unleash the area’s potential for growth.

Hardscape worked alongside landscape architects Gillespies to create contemporary hard landscaping that breathes new life into what was once a rundown industrial area.

The brief

Hardscape was tasked with developing a space that catered to the dual vision of granting public access to the Thames while also creating a relaxed atmosphere for residents. The aim was to transform the area into a peaceful space that would encourage passersby to stop, pause and relax amidst the hustle and bustle of the capital city.

The five-acre site, designed by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is 60 per cent public open space and includes 112 trees of seven different species. Hardscape’s role was to use modern landscaping techniques and materials to complement the playful sculptures and trails while encouraging visitors to interact with the landscape.

rl-12Materials used

Hardscape Kellen Breccia concrete was used to pave the area – chosen due to its decorative nature and durability. Silver Grey granite was used for kerbs, bollards and steps, providing a neutral base with elements that catch the light and sparkle silver in the sun – giving a prestigious aesthetic. Hardscape also fabricated granite boulders to give passersby a place to sit and enjoy the space.

rl-6Overlooking the Thames, various water features were placed throughout Riverlight to reflect the natural surroundings. Hardscape helped encapsulate the water theme by using Kilkenny Irish Blue Limestone for the cladding and coping on the water features, with ocean-esque tones of blue and green running through it. Limestone is formed close to the earth’s surface and capturing fossilised plant and animal life, truly reflecting the essence of nature. The smooth texture and colour of the limestone complimented the water features perfectly creating a harmonious, seamless appearance.

The end result

The completed development has provided 802 new homes, 250 jobs, 45 apprenticeships and improved local services and transport infrastructure.

Managing Director at Hardscape, Mathew Haslam said, “Working alongside Gillespies, we supplied paving materials and the various water features structure that helped transform this public realm space. Situated near headline restaurants, museums, royal parks and the Olympic stadium, Riverlight is now a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”