International architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) has received planning consent from London’s Westminster City Council for its King’s Court and Carriage Hall scheme for Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco).
Work on the proposed development, in the heart of the Covent Garden district, is scheduled to start in June and should take up to three years to complete. The project includes a new pedestrian passageway connecting Long Acre and King Street, a new public courtyard, and new retail, restaurant and residential space. The Grade II listed Carriage Hall building on the western end of Floral Street will also be converted into a new flagship retail space with a covered courtyard.
The King’s Court and Carriage Hall scheme will be the largest new construction project in the area since the Royal Opera House in the 1990s. Development across the area will be unified by improvements to the public realm, such as upgraded infrastructure and added public walks and courtyards, which will support and enrich Covent Garden as a whole. The enhancements to the public realm are intended to reflect a gravitational pull to the west, building on recent improvements to King Street.
“The key to the project has been finding the balance between old and new. We wanted to build on the character of Covent Garden, creating a sense of theatricality and excitement within a special place of great historic and cultural significance,” said KPF design principal Brian Girard.
KPF has plans to restore a collection of listed buildings and interiors, sensitively inserting modern elements amidst the historic fabric, and opening passageways and courtyards to provide a dynamic series of public spaces, both inside and out. Discreetly placed within existing blocks, much of the design will remain hidden from view. The exception will be a vertical glazed feature on Floral Street, a landmark conceived as a companion to the Royal Ballet Bridge at the opposite end of the street. The design of the new residential building will be a modern interpretation of the typical loft and warehouse typology characteristic of this part of Covent Garden.
The new public space will be surrounded by eight retail units and two restaurants with al fresco dining. Retail frontages on Floral Street will animate the western part of the street. The development will offer 45 high-quality apartments (31 of which are new-build). The new design also includes an outdoor public courtyard, which is positioned to be at the heart of the development and should also improve pedestrian flow in the area.