Designed by Capita's architecture business ESA, this £11m project involved the refurbishment of the existing properties at 17-23 Bentinck Street into 44,000 square feet of high quality office space and three luxury apartments. The project was the winner of the British Council for Offices (BCO) London and South East Award – 2015 for Projects up to 2,000 metres squared.
More like a New York loft apartment than an office, Bentinck Street has created a truly chic space for its occupier. The central space is connected by a dramatic angled stair with kitchen and dining areas on the higher floor and the main office floor linked below, all fully kitted out with the latest technology and collaboration tools.
The project, carried out on behalf of the Howard de Walden Estates, required the demolition of the existing structure whilst retaining its Edwardian beginnings; the impressive façade at the front of the building. The inside was designed as a contemporary office, and the seven buildings together form a five storey terrace, each with access from Bentinck Street. Each property has a typical L-shaped plan extending around 11m / 14.5m to the common rear façade lines, with basement and ground floors having additional rear accommodation, separated by light-wells and culminating in a pitched roof at first floor level.
The original front facade and the high energy efficiency requirements posed challenges for the project. The retained façade proposals were originally seen as unacceptable in planning terms, but by working closely and understanding the reasoning, the ‘book-ends’ of the development took on a refurbishment approach with No17 becoming residential. Design measures were taken to avoid visible office lighting grids from the street. Additional challenges involved the ongoing liaison with the adjacent hotel, residents and local businesses, as well as building over the Jubilee underground line.
An important element of this project was its high energy efficiency requirements and the use of sustainable energy sources. This had an increasing impact on the design of the building. One of the unique features of the building as a result of this is the bio-diverse green roofs, which have received praises from Westminster Council. The photovoltaic roof slates and 14 GSHP boreholes aided the project in achieving a BREEAM excellence rating.
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