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ea Containers House was designed

in 1974 by Warren Platner as a

waterfront hotel to promote British

tourism. Upon completion, due to

an economic downturn, the building was

immediately converted to office use – but was

inherently never entirely fit for purpose.

In 2013, BDG Architecture + Design

won an invited competition, in partnership

with MathesonWhiteley, to create 20,300m


of workspace for a group of ten advertising

and media companies, which previously

were located across a number of sites

throughout London.

The existing building consisted of three

elements: a concrete frame, two-storey ‘River

Terrace’cantilevering over the Thames

Path – complete with concrete waffle slabs

– a central stack of low, horizontal concrete

floor plates and a recently completed two-

storey ‘sky terrace’, steel-framed, glazed-roof

extension. The design concept proposes a

specific response to each type of space.


Located at the eastern end of the South

Bank, the Sea Containers building occupies a

significant portion of the ‘cultural mile’river

Sea Containers




BDGArchitecture +Design

looks at the refurbishment

of a London riverfront building, where designwas inspired by some of the

Thames’ Brutalist structures.

Ground-floor atrium of the refurbished

Sea Containers building.

(Photo:Gareth Gardner.)