Squire and Partners complete slick, contemporary offices under strict regulations
No. 44-48 Dover Street is the latest model in a series of office and residential buildings designed by Squire and Partners for sites with very sensitive contexts. In order to satisfy stringent planning requirements, the front of the building had to be delicately integrated into a listed streetscape dating from 1683. The vertical members of its Portland stone frame echo the existing plot widths of the street.
Within this frame each panel changes in response to the changing architectural context, from the Georgian buildings on one side to the 1960's office block on the other. The first bay contains abstracted Georgian proportions, with narrow windows set within a predominately stone façade. The second and third bays fracture this formality, as the stone elements visually dissolve through asymmetrical patterns into a fully glazed final bay.
At the rear of the scheme a series of complex rights to light issues have eroded what would have been the building's ideal shape. In response the building has been stepped back through a series of terraces covered by a curving glass roof. Here again the restraints on the design are translated into positive compositional devices. Each device, when seen in its context, sets up a visual language of correspondence between the constraint and its solution.