With The Crown Estate’s focus on the regeneration of its St James’s portfolio and enhancement of the street level activity and public realm, the scheme presented an opportunity to revitalise a key gateway building at the threshold of Regent Street. This refurbishment balances sympathetic modern insertions with revitalised heritage fabric to create prime grade ‘A’ office space. The site offers 15,780 sq ft of outstanding refurbished office space. The project reached practical completion in April 2013. In hand with the comprehensive external façade and roof restoration, the key to the success of the project was delivering office space to contemporary standards while maintaining and restoring as much of the original internal features as possible. The building had suffered from a lack of reception with individual tenancies accessed from street level via a long corridor.
Relocation of external doors to the building perimeter allowed for a new modern reception, extending out the existing corridor into the adjacent retail unit. Existing cornices and marble flooring were restored with sympathetic contemporary interpretations carried through into the new reception. Original finishes to the central core and lift lobbies were also restored with the existing central lift re-furbished and re-fitted. On the main office floors, careful placement of energy efficient VRF heating and cooling units within both low level perimeter housings and a central ceiling mounted bulkhead allowed the restored ceiling plasterwork and cornicing to be expressed. The removal of the existing timber floor back to the structural slab allowed the insertion of a shallow raised access floor to provide flexible power and data servicing.
‘Back of house’ connection to the building basement was achieved through the ‘secret’ insertion of a bespoke external platform lift into an existing basement lightwell. This level access to the basement facilitated the conversion of redundant plant and storage areas into cycle storage with shower and changing facilities to meet the demands of the modern occupier and to help achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.