Hanover is a significant scheme for the City of Westminster and for our practice. Taking 15 years to complete, the development comprises quality offices, New Bond Street flagship retail, luxury apartments, a Grade II* Listed building renovation and a new public courtyard. Located within the Mayfair Conservation Area and above a Crossrail station, the project is recognised for both for its sheer complexity and as the culmination of 30 years’ experience in high-value commercial and retail development in the West End of London. It showcases what we do best as a practice, in terms of our ability to provide fresh thinking in any sector and to deliver success, however complex the brief. And it restores a much-loved but overlooked part of London to its former glory, with a distinctive elegance, economic activity and delight.
The decision by Crossrail to earmark the site for a major new station meant that we needed to think hard for our client, Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) on behalf of The GHS Limited Partnership (a 50/50 joint venture with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, about how to unlock the full potential of the site. Our design strategy improved Crossrail’s needs for an escalator, lift and ventilation shafts by incorporating them into a coordinated scheme onto land owned by The GHS Limited Partnership, creating a more generous station for Crossrail, unlocking more commercial space for our client and opening up the entire plot to create new public realm for Westminster.
Our masterplan for the 0.6-hectare site provides 223,400 sq ft of new accommodation, including offices, flagship retail, a destination restaurant and luxury accommodation. As well as new buildings, we have made huge improvements to the public realm. New public routes have been created through the site, widening and pedestrianising Tenterden Street and delivering a generous colonnade and the new Medici public courtyard that connects New Bond Street and Hanover Square. Rigorous attention to detail throughout the process will deliver the highest level of quality, which marks a visible improvement in the neighbourhood.
The Hanover development, coupled with the new Crossrail station, is a hugely intricate project, but there is little evidence of its complexities on the surface. The increased permeability across the site and improved public space has been accompanied by a significant improvement in the quality of the built environment, and it will become an integral and elegant part of this most distinctive and well-loved neighbourhood of London. Hanover Square was the first of Mayfair’s grand squares, and with those improvements in and around the square, it once again has the opportunity to become its most important.