Studio Seilern Architects turned a challenge into an opportunity when they designed the Whitehorse Street Apartments for an urban infill lot in London. Located on Whitehorse Street in the prestigious Mayfair district, the lot only has a small street frontage with the bulk of the available building space located on an inner site. In order to make the apartments desirable, Studio Seilern decided to create their own views, by putting a garden on the entire first floor and splitting the complex in two to create room for a beautiful set of vertical gardens.

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As most of the building sits away from the street and is surrounded by other buildings, the site offered no natural views. Since the apartment complex is located in a very desirable part of town, the developers wanted to do everything possible to make these luxurious and highly coveted apartments with great views. Residents access the new apartment complex from the street and immediately enter into a light-filled garden. The new development will include high-end residential apartments, an apartment hotel, an underground parking garage and some retail.

Each apartment will have views of the interior garden space, access to natural ventilation as well as ample daylighting. The vertical garden cuts the complex in two, and windows and balconies of the apartment will be covered in vegetation. Eventually as the plants mature, ivy will cascade down the glass-fronted apartments. A sophisticated glazing system will include three layers of windows to provide natural lighting, but maintain privacy across the open space. Construction is set to commence in November 2010 and be completed by May 2012.