Davidson Building

This office building for Derwent London sits in the heart of the Covent Garden Conservation Area within sight of the market. From the outset the client and design team were aware that a replacement of the existing, highly cellular, building was unlikely, and that the Edwardian façade would be retained.

 

 

 

Client: Derwent London

Location: London WC2

Status: Completed 2003, updated 2014

Services Engineer: Arup

Structural Engineer: Arup

Main Contractor: YJL

Photography: Richard Bryant, Nick Rochowski

Awards: BCO Commercial Workplace Award 2005,  IAS/OAS Best Central London Development Award 2003, RIBA Award for Architecture 2004, RIBA Conservation Commendation 2004

Davidson Building

This office building for Derwent London sits in the heart of the Covent Garden Conservation Area within sight of the market. From the outset the client and design team were aware that a replacement of the existing, highly cellular, building was unlikely, and that the Edwardian façade would be retained.

The Davidson Building is an eight-storey new-build sitting behind a freestanding Edwardian brick façade reinforced by exposed stainless steel post-tensioned ties. To the rear of the façade a three metre wide atrium runs the full length of the building, extending from the first to the fourth floor and topped by a continuous glass roof in the profile of the former slate mansard. Behind this atrium sits a modern office building, capable of being let floor by floor with modern services and openable windows.

On approach along Southampton Street, it appears that nothing has changed until the light catches on the stainless-steel cables and springs which now run at intervals from the top of the façade to first floor level above frameless glass shopfronts. The cables hold the brickwork in tension, and are pinned back to the new structure only at the top by thin steel rods and cables. What appears to be a traditional solid mansard roof behind the old parapet is in fact a new glazed roof which floods light through the office floors and into the generous atrium. Stainless steel platforms cantilever from the new building and hover close to the retained wall, providing oblique views of the atrium and out into the street.

The building was completed in 2003 and named after Ian Davidson. In 2014 the practice revisited the building to update the services and refresh the reception area in line with the client’s tenant strategy.

 

 

 

 

Client: Derwent London

Location: London WC2

Status: Completed 2003, updated 2014

Services Engineer: Arup

Structural Engineer: Arup

Main Contractor: YJL

Photography: Richard Bryant, Nick Rochowski

Awards: BCO Commercial Workplace Award 2005,  IAS/OAS Best Central London Development Award 2003, RIBA Award for Architecture 2004, RIBA Conservation Commendation 2004