Notting Dale Village

London. 2009

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 2009
  • Cost: £110 Million
  • Clients: Nottingdale Ltd

Notting Dale Village is about a shifting of both perceptions (of the area and of mixing uses) and scale (the first two completed phases are taller to mark the West Cross while the third, fourth and fifth more modest phases will repair the historical grain). In an area once known for its piggeries, brick works, slum housing and Frestonia (an anarchist commune), three robust, seven-storey buildings are placed to provide a much-needed edge to the adjacent chasm-like urban motorway and shelter a series of public and semi-public spaces. These three blocks – the Yellow Building, the White Building and the Studio Building – offer open-plan floorplates to establish flexible new workplaces totalling more than 300,000 square feet. They’re supplemented by a restaurant at the scheme’s centre and future phases that will include a nine unit residential building, a 45 room hotel and a mixed-use building comprising office, light industrial, retail and residential uses. Leading the regeneration of a rather haphazard quarter, the development is changing the tone of the neighbourhood.

  • Awards
  • MIPIM Best Mixed Use Award: Commendation 2008

The White Building

The White Building sits adjacent the new headquarters building for Monsoon/Accessorize (The Yellow Building). This site had very early on been identified as a suitable location for relatively large buildings by the Borough Council. The completed Yellow, White and Studio Buildings are larger in scale and line the West Cross Route while future phases are more closely related to the smaller scale residential and office developments of Freston Road.

Location Plan Notting Dale village

The ‘diamond’ shaped footprint of The White Building generates a dynamic building form, along with its distinctive roof line. The building form opens up views to both The Yellow Building and The Studio Building creating a visual connection between the entrances to all three buildings and defining a sheltered landscaped courtyard.

It follows in the footsteps of The Yellow Building in shifting perceptions of traditional office buildings. Learning lessons from the warehouse feel of the client’s much-loved former headquarters at the Paddington Basin, AHMM focused from the beginning on the idea of a warehouse office: big thermally massive floors providing generous volumes and little by way of finishes.

The White Building framed by the Yellow Building and the Studio Building

A drive for economy and efficiency lead to the structure being transposed to the outside of the building. The large external pre-cast concrete columns, clearly defining the aesthetic of the building, both holding the building up and providing solar shading to the facades. They also create an intentional and necessary dialogue with The Yellow Building.

Internally the floor plans are organised to provide maximum flexibility within a standard 1.5m office grid. Two cores sit at either ends of the building, the north core being the main circulation and service core and the south a secondary escape.

The transformation of shape of the White Building from 'Bow-tie' to 'rectilinear' to 'diamond' 

Massing, Form and design

AHMM’s revised masterplan proposed an alternative site layout to the original Barr Gazetas plan whereby fewer but larger buildings are arranged to form a courtyard, or public square, in the centre of the site. The new Monsoon Headquarters (Phase 1) defines the southern boundary of the courtyard and aims to become a new landmark headquarters building that will act as a lynchpin for the Phase 2 development.

During the development of the Phase 2 buildings, it became immediately clear that the designs should enhance the Yellow Building as a new ‘landmark building’ in the locality whilst sharing design features to unite as a whole.

The White Building is located along the western boundary of the site to help enclose and define the new centrally located public square. Due to the White Building’s close proximity to the surrounding buildings, an early decision was made to investigate a building shape that could not only ameliorate the visual connectivity between the buildings but also maintain the visual impact of the Yellow Building to those approaching the site from the predominantly pedestrian access route off Evesham Street.

The series of photographs and diagrams below record the transformation of the building shape from a ‘bow-tie’ shaped building to a rectalinear building and finally to a diamond shape building. It was considered that a diamond shape generates a more dynamic building form while opening up views of the Yellow Building and the Studio Building.  The aim was to create a visual connection between the three main entrances, further emphasized by a ‘carpet’ of high quality floor finishes, tying together the Yellow Building, the White Building and the Studio Building.


The transformation of shape of the White Building from 'Bow-tie' to 'rectilinear' to 'diamond'



Studio Building

The seven-storey Studio Building is sited at the northern corner of Notting Dale Village, adjacent to existing warehouses and industrial units, and forms a ‘stop-end’ for the development.  Dropping down in scale, the Studio Building the lowest in height of the three new buildings along the West Cross Route, allowing for a successful transition in scale in relation to the Yellow Building and White Building . The building has been specifically designed to house small businesses.

Location Plan Notting Dale Village

The façades of the building are clad in white render punctured by generously proportioned strip-windows which wrap each façade.  The service zones, including the two diagonally opposed external stair cases and roof plant, are clad in grey aluminium louvers, which match the White Building next door.  These interlocking service elements frame the white rendered box of the studios.  Yellow guarding panels incorporated into stair balustrades are visible through the open louvers at night, offering a subtle visual tie back to the Yellow Building.  A set-back at ground on the south-eastern corner creates a sheltered entrance where a large pivot door enables larger items to be brought in and out of the building.


Image of facade detail

Internally the building is finished to a shell and core specification, the tight budget constraints ruled out internal linings.  Therefore the concrete frame including circular columns and post-tensioned floor slabs has been left exposed.

The studio floors have been designed to allow maximum flexibility in partition layouts and can accommodate from up to sixteen separate tenant units per level.  A clear central zone defines the access corridor when floor plates are split and provides each unit with connections to building services.  Tenants can remove high level panels in the strip windows to bring fresh air supply for any ventilation systems required by their work.  There is further provision for tenant plant and services within a large screened area on the roof. 

The building is otherwise naturally ventilated by regularly spaced opening vents in the strip windows.  The concrete frame is highly insulted externally and exposed internally to reap the benefits of its thermal mass.

Massing form and design


The Studio Building is a light industrial building and its form is a simple expression of its functionality as a workshop and studio space.  From an early stage it was seen as a simple and robust building where the form and architecture is a consequence of the pragmatic requirements of its use.


Diagram showing Massing



All materials were chosen for their simplicity and robustness and lend the building a unified design expression.  The treatment of the façade responds to orientation and internal function of the building. In accordance with the ‘Light Industrial’ use of the building the façade is appropriately robust.

Image of facade detail

7 Storeys - Brick facade

7 Storeys - Shallow strip windows