We have collaborated with Make Architects to create a mixed-use development well-suited to its context adjacent to London’s Oxford Street for clients GPE. The site comprises two 'L'-shaped buildings, one incorporating office space and the other residential units, with retail units at ground floor level. Both buildings represent a strong aesthetic of precast concrete cladding with ceramic slip bricks and metalwork which varies in depth and texture and responds to its environment.
Placing emphasis on sustainability and a high standard of living, the provision of a landscaped central garden at ground level which is publicly accessible is key to this complex project. This not only delivers light to the basement office space via a sensitively positioned light well, but also informs the height and massing of the surrounding blocks, with the two uppermost floors of the eight-storey residential block to the north of the site set back to maximise sunlight.
Given its urban location, we dealt with a number of constraints and obstructions in the design process. We were able to analyse the substructure records of the previous Post Office building, which is to be demolished to ground level, to ensure that Mail Rail tunnels directly below the site remain unaffected, and to set the heights of three new basement levels above the tunnel access which incorporate office space and plant rooms. Calculations will be submitted to achieve AIP prior to commencement on site.
A key driver in our approach was also to maximise economy and efficiency of construction, and will be partly achieved by reusing as much of the substructure as possible through comparative assessment of loadings created by the existing and proposed structures. Within the superstructure of the commercial building the focus is on marketability, designing subdivided floor plates to provide a range of office sizes. In both blocks we have been able to strike a cost-effective balance between the thickness of floor slabs and column grid sizes.
Mixed-use scheme comprising two L-shaped buildings with an emphasis on sustainability
Great Portland Estates
Office area: 20,325 m²
Retail area: 2,270 m²