Journal Eye for Detail: Relating to the street

Journal — May 24, 2024

Eye for Detail: Relating to the street

Journal — May 24, 2024 Eye for Detail: Relating to the street

In a world where knowledge workers are increasingly mobile, a well-connected, amenity rich office in a fantastic location is a powerful attractor. Arbor has been designed from the ground up to “earn the commute” – capitalising on the benefits of our neighbourhood by being an active part of the streetscape.


The experience of Arbor begins on the street, with a new area of public realm created in the undercroft facing Bankside Cross, a key junction between the major thoroughfares of Bankside: Blackfriars Road and Southwark Street. The new public space is a dramatic improvement to both the quality and quantity of space available to pedestrians at this busy crossroads. In the near future, this will be an important entry point to the wider Bankside Yards development, signposted by the 19 storeys of Arbor floating above the railway viaduct.


Bankside Yards will create new traffic-free routes and 3.3 acres of riverside public space, creating new connectivity along the South Bank and transforming the experience of the area for pedestrians. 14 railway historic arches – inaccessible  to the public for 150 years – will become a grand feature of the public realm, activated by new retail, leisure and cultural uses, with public passageways that overcome the artificial barrier created by the railway.


Arbor’s outdoor space has a very deliberate visual connection to the reception hall, creating a public presence for the building that reveals the activity taking place inside. The design of the landscape and street furniture closely relates to the interior spaces, and the coffered ceiling of the undercroft seamlessly passes above the glazed curtain walling, making the two spaces feel continuous with each other.  A line of trees creates a gentle separation between the public space and the street, softening the boundary and limiting the impact of the road.


The subtlety of the execution belies the effort taken to create a space that situates the building in the neighbourhood: The Bankside area is Arbor’s greatest asset – brimming with restaurants, nightlife and culture and fantastically well connected to public transport. It’s the perfect location for workers looking to make the most of their time in the office – with a straightforward commute and London’s best leisure amenity offering unique experiences throughout the day.


Eye for Detail is a series of articles about the design thinking behind Arbor, Native Land’s flagship office building at Bankside Yards. This is the third post in the series:

Click this link to read the first article about how Arbor uses space and height to enhance creativity and foster innovation. 

Click this link to read about how the entrance hall at Arbor sets a new standard for a high-impact welcome to office space.

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Eye for Detail: Making an entrance

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