Stylish refurbishment of a 1940s building in London
London-based award-winning architecture and design practice BuckleyGrayYeoman has completed the 250,000 sq. ft. refurbishment of 10 Bloomsbury Way – a major mixed use development on a triangular site at the meeting of Bloomsbury Way and New Oxford Street, on behalf of London & Regional Properties. The building presents high quality office space and introduces new retail shops and restaurants.
The new scheme substantially revamps the original neo-classical structure by replacing the façade at the ground and first floor with a more transparent façade that redefines the building’s relationship with the street and plays to the enormous and exciting changes that the Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road will bring to the area. 10 Bloomsbury Way also extends vertically, incorporating a new top floor with generous roof terraces and stunning views over London’s skyline.
Originally built in 1947 as part of the post-war reconstruction of the area and was occupied by the MoD until recently. The building sits within the Bloomsbury Conservation Area and is surrounded by prominent buildings, most notably Hawksmoor’s last London church, Grade I listed St George of Bloomsbury. Its MoD history gave the existing building a defensive appearance and a closed feel.
Replacing the ground and first floor façades, BuckleyGrayYeoman has opened the building up to the city in a modern minimal design with a distinctive linear feel. The new stone frontage has large glazed openings that wrap the whole building at the ground and first floor, maximising views in, out and through the building. The use of stone evokes a pronounced solidity that is emphasized where the stonework meets the ground level by a skirting detail made up of slightly darker, less porous and more durable stone.
The revised design re-orientates the building’s primary entrance away from its current position on Bloomsbury Way to the building’s apex on the corner of Bloomsbury Way and New Oxford Street. The new canopied entrance is enhanced by a three-storey metal and glass bay window that gives the corner a distinctive character while maintaining the elegant proportions of the original structure.
The new entrance leads into the main reception area, a double height space created by the removal of the first floor slab and steel frame. BuckleyGrayYeoman fashioned a dramatic light-filled space that features full height glazing on all three sides, allowing views through the reception from Bloomsbury Way to New Oxford Street and enhancing the building’s relationship with the city. A further section of double height space leads to the central lift lobby, alongside a new tenant’s café and seating area. The café area, inspired by the ambiance of airport lounges, is a space ideal for socialising with a unique feel of comfort and a relaxed atmosphere, challenging the ubiquitous blandness of office receptions.
The refurbishment also added a new level with the new ninth floor that occupies the roof space previously taken up by a large amount of heating and ventilation equipment. The new structure gives an elegant top to the building and provides high-quality office space, along with three roof terraces offering stunning views over London’s skyline.
The new design has transformed 10 Bloomsbury Way from a monotonous and out-of-date structure into a contemporary and relevant commercial building that delivers a high quality office environment that is in dialogue with its urban context.
Images courtesy of Hufton+Crow for BuckleyGrayYeoman
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