The former Middlesex Hospital site is a three-acre development in the heart of London, which is being transformed into mixed-use scheme of high quality residential apartments and office buildings, with community facilities and an impressive new public space.
Developer Exemplar approached Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to partner with Sheppard Robson to evaluate the site’s potential and create a more contextual scheme, respectful to the existing listed buildings and to chime with Westminster City Council’s aspirations for the area. As architects for the overall concept and five of the seven buildings, the practice was charged with addressing the issues of relating what is a large scheme to the finer grain of the Fitzrovia streetscape, differentiating the office and residential components through detailing and entrances, and providing vertical articulation to ensure a legible bottom, middle and top.
Open market residential apartments, affordable housing, retail, restaurant, Grade A commercial space are included on the site, as well as space for local occupiers including a Primary Care facility and an education facility for the local primary school. Centred on a new landscaped public realm that embraces the Grade II* listed chapel, the masterplan now opens up what was a closed city block to the surrounding streets and creates new routes.
Extensive analysis of the surrounding streetscape revealed different qualities to the four bounding streets, and revealed a grain and scale derived from C19-20 development. Norman Shaw’s highly articulated red-brick buildings and the mansion blocks of the area provided a starting point for the residential blocks, while the ‘white working buildings’ of the department stores and office blocks of the area north of Oxford Street were a precedent for the offices. The distinction between uses is characterised by colour and material so that the development is highly legible as well as comfortable in the streetscape. The Grade II* listed chapel is retained and the façades on Nassau Street are being carefully preserved for incorporation. The Grade II listed building at 10 Mortimer Street is also retained for residential use. The contemporary material palette of brick, cast metal and reconstructed stone marries with the surrounding neighbourhood without pastiche and improves the relationship between old and new.
The practice is delivering 291 residences with interior designers Johnson Naylor. A wide variety of luxury apartments include suites of one, two and three bedrooms, duplexes and penthouses. Designed to optimise the natural light and views, most have their own private outside space.
Location London W1
Status Completed 2016