LONDON’S NEW SKYLINE
R&F Properties UK is creating a fashionable luxury neighbourhood on the south bank of the Thames
London’s Nine Elms region has become one of the most in-demand property hotspots in Europe thanks to a superb location and a series of major developments between Vauxhall and Battersea that have attracted the likes of the US Embassy, Penguin and Apple into the area. Three further landmark developments are currently being undertaken by R&F Properties UK, a Hong Kong-listed developer with a history of fulfilling fantastic projects across the world. “What makes us unique in Nine Elms is we can go quite high – up to 200 metres, which is 54 storeys,” explains Global Brand Director Michael Purefoy. “We will become a recognizable feature on the London skyline. That also means we have to deliver buildings that will stand the test of time, which is why we are working with distinguished architects like SOM and KPF to produce world-class buildings.”
There are three schemes: One Thames City, Park Riverfront and Vauxhall Square. All three have been designed to take advantage of their height and riverside location, with each building orientated slightly differently to maximize stunning views across Central London. One Thames City, developed as a joint venture with CC Land, will be the first to reach completion. This is located alongside the river, overlooking a beautiful new linear park that is being created to connect the eastern and western ends of the Nine Elms area.
The development itself takes the form of a cluster of towers that will sit on a podium containing a selection of upscale amenities such as a residents’ clubhouse. Interiors are by HBA, who have been inspired by the river and history of the area such as the New Covent Garden Flower Market. “People like a connection with the past even in a forward-looking development with world-class amenities,” says Michael. “We are trying to be timeless as we appeal to a very broad international market.”
Nearby Park Riverfront will be influenced by the presence of international luxury hotelier Park Hyatt, who have selected the development as the location of their flagship London hotel. Residents in the apartments above the hotel – which is located in one of two towers on the site – will have access to the hotel’s amenities and they will also be serviced by the hotel. These 100 or so residences sit at what Michael describes as “the very top of our portfolio”.
The final scheme at Vauxhall Square is a more traditional mixed-use development that will include residential, offices and a carefully curated selection of boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars that will create an atmospheric, thriving environment in which to live. “There will be all-day dining, some casual and some higher-end, forming a really key commercial part of the district around two minutes from Vauxhall station,” says Michael. “We want it to be busy and vibrant, with all that activity at street level but then residents can retire to the tranquility of their apartment.”
Michael has little doubts over the long-term appeal of Nine Elms. The area is exceptionally well located, with access to the tube and train at Vauxhall. A new Northern Line extension is being constructed to connect Nine Elms with the rest of central London, while the developments can also be reached by riverbus for those who seek a more genteel trip into town. “We think Nine Elms is the last remaining significant development opportunity of scale in central London,” says Michael. “It has an incredible location next to the river and a rich history with so much more to come.”