A giant mixed-used building, which often feels like the de-facto solution to rapid urban growth, commonly manifests in boxy apartments stacked atop a glassy ground floor that plays home to a coworking space or store.
This modern building in the London Borough of Southwark, though, is a refreshing take on the mixed-use development. Designed by British firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the eight-unit pale brick apartment complex seamlessly incorporates office space on the ground floor while retaining a sense of separateness thanks to its unusual layout.
The architects designed the building as a series of irregularly shaped, multi-story units that interlock around two stairs. The design allows for blocks of the building to join together, creating a Tetris-style brick facade. “Each apartment is a ‘house’ differentiated by its place within the spatial puzzle and the city,” the architects write.
Inside, the same rules apply. The architects designed the apartments as a series of rooms that are built to flow into one another. Stairs—not doors—separate the kitchen, living, and dining rooms.