LoginSubscribe to Alerts

Flexible Luxury Living Inspiring Riverside Sales Success

Posted 15 June 2022 by Lizzie Leigh

Placemaking developments like Southbank Place are changing the way people live, says Richard Oakes, sales director...

Ten years in the making, we hear from sales director Richard Oakes about spectacular Southbank Place and how wind testing was all part of the luxury build process.

Richard, what makes Southbank Place quite so special?

Southbank Place has been a labour of love that was first planned out over ten years ago, and we knew then the length of time it would take to complete. With that knowledge in-mind we wanted to ensure the designs were as future-proof as possible, this included everything from the size and layout of each apartment, exterior and interior designs, as well as ensuring facilities such as the Health Club were easily adaptable to meet the latest fitness methods and trends. We were also acutely aware that we were creating a new landmark for London that would be captured on film, TV and camera, due to its position around the Shell Centre and behind the London Eye, so what we delivered had to be eye catching and unique.

The development looks entirely at home in its setting, whilst the look and feel of the apartments, lobbies, commercial and retail spaces, as well as the amenities, are all as fresh and relevant today as they would have been a decade ago. So, I believe we have met that challenge and delivered an outstanding modern development.

Southbank PlaceWho has been buying these residences?

The views and the location have always been a huge draw for buyers and this has appealed to a wide range of individuals, from young professionals to couples and downsizers looking for an apartment in the heart of the city.

Due to our location we have arguably the best vistas in the city, directly looking onto the River Thames, London Eye, Houses of Parliament and County Hall, whilst wider afield you can see the City, St Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard. The higher you go, you can see the way the city bends around the river, with Battersea and Canary Wharf visible in the distance. Once buyers see that and imagine experiencing it every day, the rest often falls into place for them. It’s a major selling point that appeals across the board.

The development comprises three different schemes: Belvedere Gardens, One Casson Square and Thirty Casson Square; how do they differ in style?

The site on which Southbank Place sits enjoys a rich history, with the Festival of Britain, an exhibition of the UK’s advancement in technology, medicine, art and many other disciplines, taking place on the grounds in 1951. We wanted to capture this spirit and deliver a development that was a sensitive mixture of design driven buildings and that is evident throughout. One & Thirty Casson Square were designed by the renowned architecture practice Squire & Partners and take the name of Sir Hugh Casson, the director of architecture behind the Festival of Britain. The tall sleek towers are cased in stone, with apartments that have been interior designed by Johnson & Naylor and benefit from views onto the River Thames and across to St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London.

Following the Festival of Britain theme, but with a new twist, Belvedere Gardens was designed by GRID Architects, with an exterior featuring bespoke bronze panelling that is shaped in the form of the exhibition’s emblem. Interior designers Goddard Littlefair follow this pattern, with the emblem present in geometric patterned features throughout the communal areas and residents’ amenity space.

This level of detail into the entire design process has proven hugely popular with buyers, with only 10 apartments remaining and over 460 units sold since the scheme was launched at the end of 2015.

Southbank PlaceTell us one surprising fact about the design of the apartments that’s little known!

Due to their geometric design, the exterior panels of Belvedere Gardens were wind tested in the same facility that is used by leading Formula One teams. To achieve the best wind reduction results, each panel was tested extensively in centres in Germany for strength, water resistance and colouring. In addition, the panels were tested for noise and ground wind reduction in a wind tunnel – used to test high-power race cars – at Southampton University.

The panels are incredibly detailed, featuring alternate perforated holes and embossed dimples, with light-sensitive paint, so that the façade appears to transform with the movement of the sun throughout the day.

Have buyers had the opportunity to customise or decide on interiors that are to their own individual tastes?

For certain apartments we offer a selection of finishings that buyers can choose from. However, we have seen quite a few instances of buyers purchasing the show homes completely as seen and fully furnished or appointing the interior designer for the unit to imitate the look and feel.

Do you think these apartments offer a distinctly new way of living in central London?

Absolutely, this is modern living with a new outlook. Southbank Place is a full-service development that offers residents a rich variety of amenities. There are high street shops, cafés and restaurants, direct access to Waterloo Underground, as well as a flexible working space at the WeWork on the site. Internally, there is a residents-only 18,000-sq-ft Health Club, complete with a 25m swimming pool, gym, studios and classes, sauna and steam rooms and private treatment rooms, whilst in each building there are communal lounges and spaces to enjoy a coffee, glass of wine or just a peaceful place to work or unwind. I believe this is the future of living, with something for everybody at any time of day.

Southbank PlaceWhat are the trends that you’re seeing in terms of lifestyle aspirations from affluent city living buyers?

There is a move towards flexible living – and that’s not just pointed at working from home, buyers are looking for more from where they live. In the past, needs would have largely focused on price, location and access to nearby amenities, but substantial placemaking schemes such as Southbank Place are moving the needle and bringing a host of amenities and facilities to one site, which is a benefit to residents, as well as the local community.

And finally, what are the next projects you and your team will be focusing on?

The vision has always been for Southbank Place to be a space that is full of life and activity, with a healthy footfall and spaces for people to sit and relax. We have already seen that with the near sell-out of the residential buildings, as well as from the commercial buildings at One & Two Southbank Place, whilst the cafés and eateries are often alive with activity. There is also a schedule of new public artworks to open across the site, which includes some pieces that were present on the former Shell site that will add to the look and feel of the area.

Planned for next year will see the launch of the final phase of the scheme, which will see the release of a collection of spectacular apartments. The completion of the final building will also complete the public realm, with new boutique restaurants and shops planned for the ground floor units.


Find retirement homes in Greater London
Find Help to Buy homes in Greater London
Find new homes in Greater London


Chapel Mill (Create Homes)
10 August 2022
Create Homes is encouraging house-hunters to reserve the plot they want at newly launched Chapel Mill in Elswick...Read more
Show home at Wellington Park (Avant Homes)
10 August 2022
The three-bedroom ‘Cadeby’ show house has been unveiled by Avant Homes at Wellington Park...Read more
The McDonnell family at home at Dargavel Village
10 August 2022
The McDonnells have swapped city life for a the proximity to countryside by purchasing a new home at Dargavel Village...Read more
Sign up for email alertsGet the latest properties and updates sent directly to your inbox daily, weekly or immediately you are in control.
Subscribe to Alerts
New Homebuyers Guide
Together with Redrow, we’ve created a guide to take you through the whole process, step-by-step; from house-hunting to past moving-in day. There are handy tips on how to anticipate and avoid complications, and some advice on ways you can successfully purchase your ideal new home.

Click here to see your activities