Faraday House, the story behind the stacking

The concept behind Faraday House took inspiration from Dutch artist Tejo Remy’s sculpture, ‘You Can’t Lay Down Your Memory’ (1991). Remy’s work was made from a collection of found drawers held together roughly by a belt. The composition drove us to explore the idea of stacking singe apartment units, adjusting them one by one without compromising the integrity of the block as a whole.

Tejo Remy, 'You Can't Lay Down Your Memory' (1991) c/o V&A Museum
[1] Tejo Remy, 'You Can't Lay Down Your Memory' (1991) c/o V&A Museum

The aesthetic of the block evolved from Remy to Gerrit Rietveld, culminating in the slim volume that forms Faraday House. The motivation for borrowing this stacking approach was to create a building that would work especially well with the site – curving along the adjacent train line that looks out over the Thames. The intention for Faraday House was distinct from its nearby plot, which called for a building that would bridge the Power Station with the edge of the masterplan.

Faraday House c. Alex de Rijke
[1] Faraday House c. Alex de Rijke

Our ambition was to make the design for Faraday House as simple and as bold as we could. Once we had achieved that, we developed the construction methodology in-line with our stacking concept. Eight storeys of projecting and recessed boxes were built with optimised efficiency in verticality of loads. These boxes made up both the structure and the form of the building, moving away from traditional curtain wall systems that use non-structural cladding for the external walls. The central concept for Faraday House remained intact throughout the design’s development, resulting in a building that not only celebrated its site, but offered dual aspect living to its users and a sparkling view to onlooking train commuters.

Faraday House c. A Stagg
[1] Faraday House c. A Stagg