Arbor is a hub for interaction, creativity, and inspiration in the heart of London, located in the hypermixed, fossil-fuel free Bankside Yards masterplan. It plays a vital role in shaping a 24-hour cultural neighbourhood that blends work and city life, art and technology, culture and nature. The building’s goal is to provide a one-of-a-kind workplace surrounded and activated by 8 diverse public spaces, 3 cultural areas, 14 arches with wellness programs and social activities, and 5-star hospitality; all of which links into London’s cultural network along the Thames’ South Bank cultural quarter.
Arbor and the Bankside Yards masterplan promote dynamic interactions between workers, clients, and locals. The building’s “urban room” at street level and shared landscaped atria on the 2nd and 18th floors create spaces for the convergence of ideas between the office and the city. Glazing units of 3-by-3 metres, extending up to 6 metres in areas, fill the building with natural light and give panoramas of the city. At the same time, the smart self-adjusting closed cavity façade units minimise the building’s environmental load. Terraces on every other floor create transitional zones between outside and inside, providing semi-outdoor workspace with unique microclimates. End-of-trip wellness amenities include a yoga room to enhance workers mobility and long-term health. Smart workplace technology is embedded into throughout the scheme, enabling personalised workday in Arbor, Bankside Yards and beyond.
The UK’s First Major 5th Generation Energy Network
The all-electric building at Arbor is powered by renewable energy and has been carbon net zero in operation from day one.
The building’s combined sustainability features, including utilising the wider masterplan’s 5th generation energy network, mean that the building uses 30% less energy than current best practice standards. In this system each building within Bankside Yards will extract or reject energy into the low-temperature 5th-generation energy network running through the development, utilising heat pump technology to exchange ambient thermal energy. This network, which will be on a scale not yet seen in the UK, could be 50-60% more efficient than a 3rd generation network typically used.
To minimise the impact of construction, from October 2020 onwards, construction was powered via a green/renewable energy tariff, saving more than 480 tonnes of CO2(e), equivalent to 588 acres of forest land in a year. A biodiverse green roof encourages local wildlife and promotes ecology.
A Cultural Neighbourhood on London’s South Bank
As part of the wider Bankside Yards masterplan, Arbor helps to deliver substantial added social value into an area that has been underutilised and unwelcoming to the public for many years. In the new neighbourhood public realm makes up 55% of the site, with three new major urban routes that allow Bankside Yards to be a connector of some of the city’s most treasured cultural institutions, becoming London’s new cultural quarter. The 14 historic railway arches, at the end of London’s high line, have been creatively reused to include a range of different retail, cultural and public functions including designated LGBTQIA+ spaces.
Various initiatives have been implemented during the construction of Arbor to positively engage with the local community and the site. This includes collaborating with local charities for riverside cleaning, youth mentoring and fundraising.
Arbor, a cutting-edge smart building, offers seamless access for employees and visitors through a building app that utilises QR codes. Developed by Smart Spaces, a leading technology provider in building management, Arbor’s technology infrastructure provides a contactless entry experience with just a mobile phone, eliminating the need for security passes. Speed gates and automated lifts provide a smooth journey from reception to the desired floor.
In addition to access, the app also empowers occupiers to optimise their workspace environment. Users can customise temperature and lighting controls through the app, tailoring their workspace to their preferences for enhanced comfort and productivity. The app also allows occupiers to connect with masterplan-wide activities and the local community, providing updates on local events and news, fostering a sense of community within Bankside Yards.
Arbor has been awarded Wiredscore Platinum, due to the exceptional standards for the quality of its wired infrastructure, resilience, and wireless network.
2023 UK International Property Awards
Best Office Architecture United Kingdom
2023 UK International Property Awards
Best Office Architecture London
28,000m² (gross built area)
Arbor is net zero in operation from day one. It sits within PLP's Bankside Yards, the UK’s first major fossil fuel-free development, which is powered by a game-changing 5th generation energy network
“Arbor is a next-generation workplace for the post-pandemic era. It is more than a place to work, it is a place to interact, to share ideas and feel inspired”
Midori Ainoura, Partner at PLP Architecture