The existing façades along Great Portland Street were analysed in order to inform the design and ensure a considered integration into the context. Factors included vertical grain and plot widths, horizontal banding, fenestration patterns, solid to void ratios, shop frontages and land use. Options were explored to assess the potential for re-use, light-touch refurbishment, or full-scale rebuild.
Reconfigured façades incorporate sections of the existing grid, infilled and re-clad in brick, to articulate the façade into vertical bays with horizontal dimensions more characteristic of the surrounding area. The bays are expressed with reconstituted stone and precast concrete cladding, with minor projections over the street below.
The refurbishment of the one post-war office building among the group presented the challenge of bringing daylight into a deep plan, while minimizing external impact and respecting the privacy of the surrounding residential buildings. The strategic removal of floors, and the positioning of new roof lights and mansard glazing, has allowed the four offices to be flooded with light.
While residential elements typically sit behind refurbished facades, the rear elevations are more extensively modified. New balconies with privacy screens provide amenity for all residents, and where apartments extend above the parapet line, living spaces open out onto roof terraces. Period finishes and features within the Grade II listed buildings have been restored or reinstated, while new insertions are expressed through contemporary materials and details.