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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 036 - Mixing uses within a building

036 - Oxo Tower Wharf, London

Oxo Tower Wharf, a successful mixed-use building on South Bank, demonstrates how potential conflicts between different users can be minimised through design. The 15,000m2 Oxo Tower Wharf is home to shops, cafés, craft workshops/retail spaces, an exhibition/event space, 78 homes for Coin Street Secondary Housing Association and two successful restaurants. The challenge was to minimise potential conflicts between these different user groups and ensure successful co-existence of residential tenants, workshop owners/users and the many visitors. This was achieved through building layout, distribution of uses and access and servicing strategies.

The lower two levels house shops, cafés and craft workshops/retail spaces. The ground floor also includes the Coin Street Exhibition and a gallery. On the second floor are a food court and 33 further designer workshops. The residential area above consists of five floors and enjoys its own entrance, lifts and parking. The rooftop, also designed to be accessible by all for public viewing, is home to the Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie.

Creation of three 10-storey cores – a new main core directly below the Oxo Tower and two secondary cores at each end of the building – were critical for managing circulation and services, and reinforcing the visual organisation of the building.

“It’s not an irony that the restaurants are there… Any strategy that is sustainable has got to have something which brings in money and recycles it – it’s a Robin Hood approach!” Ian Tuckett, Executive Director, Coin Street Community Builders, explains the economic strategy behind Oxo Tower’s success in his interview with journalist Andrew Bibby.

Oxo Tower was developed by CSCB independently (instead of a joint venture), to ensure continued control over its commercial lettings.

Other Information

  • Location: London Borough of Southwark
  • Project Team: Developer - Coin Street Community Builders. Architect - Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Integrated Design 

The Oxo Tower Wharf successfully blends residential, commercial, workspaces and offices on London’s South Bank.

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