Flagship build to rent development picks up RIBA London award

One of the UK’s first buildings designed exclusively for rent since World War Two has been awarded by RIBA for making a “commendable difference to the local area”.

Vantage Point, by GRID Architects for Essential Living, received a RIBA London award for its “elegant design and careful detailing”, helping transform “a failed building into an active one” and making a “significant contribution to the regeneration” of the surrounding neighbourhood.

The wow-factor revamp of the former Archway Tower office block includes a hotel-style glass lobby, sleek interiors, wide corridors and a duplex penthouse social space on the top two floors that is free for all residents to use.

There’s also a roof terrace complete with pizza oven and BBQ, garden balcony overlooking London and all the apartments have equal-sized bedrooms, making them perfect for sharing.

Sitting right above Archway tube station, Vantage Point is Essential Living’s first scheme to open, launching in September last year. The company, which is both the developer and the landlord, is introducing American-style renting to the UK, with a focus on great design and customer service.

Essential Living is launching two more developments this month – Berkshire House in Maidenhead and Dressage Court in Bethnal Green. Both buildings will similarly have a range of shared spaces, with Dressage Court boasting a Boxpark-style roof terrace with amazing views of the city.

Darryl Flay, CEO at Essential Living, said:

“At Vantage Point we have helped pioneer a new form of living with one of the UK’s first buildings to have been designed exclusively for renting. As a long-term investor, we care deeply about the communities we build in and are delighted RIBA has recognised Vantage Point’s contribution to the regeneration of the local area.”

Craig Casci, director at GRID Architects, said:

“We are delighted that the RIBA judges recognised the relevance of Vantage Point on architecture and especially residential architecture. Its success is in the transformational change that we see in Archway, which 10 years ago seemed beyond reach.

“The design was very carefully analysed and crafted and is a direct response to what people didn’t like about the old building in that it was dark, sinister and dominant. We now have something that is of the place and, despite its size, works and relates to everything that surrounds it.”