A radical transformation

Tuesday 12 Feb 2008

make architects complete the radical transformation of the former M&S Headquarters in Baker Street, London

Make architects have completed this impressive mixed-use development in central London. The original building, constructed in the 1950s, was formerly the headquarters of Marks & Spencer and takes up 1/13th of Baker Street. It has now been transformed into a modern, dynamic complex with 500,000 sq ft of prime office space, 60,000 sq ft retail and leisure space and 25,000 sq ft residential space spread over the basement, ground floor and 8 floors above ground. 55 Baker Street has achieved unprecedented pre-letting figures; with occupants including BDO (the 5th largest accountants in the UK), Knight Frank and the client London & Regional who have established their head office in the building.While providing an exceptional range of flexible and highly efficient office spaces, the approach was not just to merely renovate but to completely reinvent the entire building as a landmark development. Despite its radically improved appearance, 50% of the existing built fabric has been retained.

The transformation of the building is expressed by three glass infills or 'masks' which span the voids between the existing blocks to create a unified but dynamically modulated new facade for the building. The distinctive sculptural effect of the building's exterior is carried through into the interior where detailing of an extensive range of bespoke fixtures and fittings - ranging from door handles and ceiling paneling to furnishing fabrics and a range of orange chairs designed for the lobby areas. The faceted theme can be seen everywhere, even on the blinds!

The reception area spans 100 metres wide and to the rear of the building a new residential development reinstates a row of mews houses destroyed during the war and are now affordable, key worker and private homes. In addition to the cost savings represented by retaining and refurbishing the existing building, the scheme has been designed to minimise environmental impact and optimise energy efficiency and has achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’. A system of chilled beams offers a controlled environment within office areas, combining exceptional levels of energy efficiency and low running costs, while the glazed mask forms are double skinned and fritted to prevent excessive solar gain. The result is a refurbished building which has achieved higher energy efficiency levels than a new build.

And to top it off two bronze lions will grace the front of the building as a sign of good luck to all who enter!

Key Facts

Commercial Offices Urban design
Architecture
United Kingdom

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