9 May 2008
PROPERTY OF THE MONTH
The completion of developments this summer around Bermondsey Spa and Bermondsey Square will make it one of the capital's hottest locations, writes Kevin Quinn…
Photos: Michael Preston
All along Spa Road the skyline is littered with cranes as the transformation of this historic road takes place. Drawings and master plans of all regeneration projects appear to paint an exaggerated picture of city living in an area that might have been considered a little rundown. But the Bermondsey Spa brand looks like it will live up to the expectations set down on the drawing board. The brand harks back to the Gregorian pleasure spa garden that once existed there, similar although much smaller then the nearby and much more famous Vauxhall Spa of the same period. It is a brand that conjures up a style of living in central London anyone would envy.
At one end of Spa Road work is well underway on the massive new St James Square development by Hyde. Built on the site of an old adventure playground this development will be positioned along a tree-lined vista. It is designed to centre on St James Church, a brilliantly preserved building which was constructed in celebration of the victory at the battle of Waterloo.
At the other end of Spa Road past more developments sites and two excellent historic buildings - the ornate orange bricked former and first Bermondsey Central Library built in 1892 and the 1930s mock white Gorgonian temple like building of Bermondsey Municipal Offices - is Hyde's other new development. Completed last year the Artesian Building is already raising eye-browses in architectural circles. Over looking the re-landscaped Spa Gardens it raises up like a tall ship and is home to a new health centre.
But while these two developments along with others in the Bermondsey Spa area are apart of the council's master plan, which will see more than 2,000 new homes (40% affordable) built, private one-off developments are springing up, adding to the dream that is Bermondsey Spa.
Amisha Court, located on the corner of Grange Road and Spa Road is one such development. An 'urban marker' on a prominent site at the entrance of the Bermondsey Spa development area it is also just a two minute walk away from this summer's other great regeneration masterplan Bermondsey Square - home to the celebrated Bermondsey Antiques Market.
Developers Igloo has signed up a hotel, a cinema and a Sainsbury's store at its Bermondsey Square development which at the junction of Tower Bridge Road and Long Lane is just across the way from the illustriously trendy Bermondsey Street. The 79 room hotel at Bermondsey Square will also include a restaurant for 90 people, al fresco seating for 120 and a deli. Independent cinema company Shortwave Films has signed up to operate an art-house cinema at the development while supermarket chain Sainsbury's has signed up to take a 4,300 sq ft Sainsbury's Local store. The signings add to the proposed 76 apartments and office space at the scheme which will also house the weekly antiques market that will be relocated with room for 200 stalls.
So, anyone that decides to rent any of the 51 apartments on offer at Amisha Court will not only be paying for a home in which to live, but a city lifestyle that is yet to be experienced.
Designed by locally-based Alan Camp Architects, the £7.5 million six-storey residential development features a stunning zinc-clad rotunda on the corner of the site. "This acts as both an urban marker for the start of the Bermondsey Spa regeneration to the south and a connecting physical element for the two wings of accommodation stretching to the east and west," says Ian Troake, project architect for Alan Camp Architects. This firm is famous for designing the new by Zandra Rhodes Fashion & Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street and are responsible for many of the new buildings in the immediate area including the Cube Development next door to Amisha Court.
The circular glass ground-floor and lower-basement space of the building will house a trendy bristro which is due to open in the summer.
The building is arranged around a central, landscaped communal courtyard. Shielded from the bustle and noise of the nearby roads Developer Sandy Ganatra plans to put on regular communal events, with a small jazz band due to play there this month during their open weekend.
Underneath the courtyard is underground parking with a new innovative car stacking design that allows up to eighteen vehicles to park. One car can park on top of the other, as the first drops into a pit - but still allows the bottom car to come out within 60 seconds without have to move the one above.
Sandy Ganatra is not selling any of the apartments in the building. They are being rented at around £320 per week and up to £700 per week for anyone of the four penhouses on offer.
Every apartment has a contemporary look and finish. Each room has been fitted and furnished to a good degree and is ready to move in to straight away. Each one as solid oak flooring and granite surfaces throughout. Many of the apartments come with their own balcony and ensuite bathroom, and all come with an integrated kitchen with dishwasher, microwave, fridge freezer and washing machine. The chic and modern penthouse apartments on the fifth floor have extensive terraces with stunning panoramic views over the City. The living and dining areas are imaginatively designed, close attention to detail has resulted in an exquisite finish that would suit almost any taste. The apartments are bright and airy and the spacious master bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and direct access to either a balcony or a roof terrace.
Nearest Tube: Bermondsey 5mins walk / London Bridge 10 mins walk
Open weekend planned for May 10th - 11th
For more details call 0800 085 1577
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