Farringdon

87 Cato Rd, Glenwood.

The most luxurious project in Crofton and Benjamin’s oeuvre, Farringdon contains only nine apartments and includes a spectacular penthouse with private access to a roof-top swimming pool. The building is derived from a simple muscular diagram. Sitting diagonally across the site and contours, it has a boomerang shape at the rear and a languidly faceted front. Although this initial concept has been elaborated into a powerful formal resolution, its genesis lies in strictly pragmatic requirements.

The carefully crafted functional arrangement and appropriate environmental response gives rise to a dramatically differentiated façade treatment in which the small openings in the rear wall are arranged in angled horizontal bands that recall Le Corbusier’s ribbon window principle, but are given a more dynamic treatment, swooping around the bulge in the boomerang shape to end in a geometric flourish. The front of the building is a different affair, with windows and balconies assembled in a more complex manner. This elevation displays rounded-off angles that again impart a strong sense of movement along its length, emphasised by graphically linear concrete slabs that protrude at each floor level.

A striking V-shaped column becomes the base for the protruding end of the building, visually supporting the building mass. This option, no less structurally apt than two vertical columns, mediates between the horizontality of the building and the slope, turning it into a graphic celebration of lines and angles as it exploits the plastic nature of poured reinforced concrete.