In designing for this extremely sensitive site on the corner of Trafalgar Square, SG proposed that the main facades (unlisted but of considerable quality), together with some fine interiors, should be retained; thus preserving the smaller scale grain which is gradually being lost in central London.
It was nevertheless important to create within the context of the retained frontages, a striking entrance image for the large area of high quality offices which lies at the heart of the redevelopment and this was achieved by means of designing a new stone facade, narrow but in high relief and finely detailed, at the centre of the block.
In planning terms, the requirements were highly complex with shops, restaurants and five flats to be accommodated as well as the offices themselves. Some ingenuity was needed in this and also in designing the offices in such a way that their flexibility was not compromised by the change of floor level needed to preserve the old facades.
Within these constraints we nevertheless achieved a 35% increase in gross area, with an efficient layout suitable equally for a single corporate headquarters building or for multiple lettings.
The Crown Estate Commissioners