WilkinsonEyre won a design competition in 2002 with a concept for three residential buildings to be housed within the frames. The design proposed three drums of accommodation at differing heights to suggest the movement of the original gasholders, which would have risen up or down depending on the pressure of the gas within. A fourth, virtual drum shape, at the centre forms an open courtyard, celebrating the conglomeration of the structures at their point of intersection.
The design was developed to create a dynamic counterpoint between old and new. The heavy industrial aesthetic and raw physical materiality of the guide frames contrasts with the lightness and intricacy of the interior spaces. The circular nature of the buildings result in apartments that are laid out to take advantage of natural daylighting, a "pie" shaped configuration with expansive views.