The site is highly sensitive. Not only is Piccadilly one of the most important and best-known thoroughfares in London but, on one side, it is adjacent to St James Church by Sir Christopher Wren and, on the other side, it abuts the old Simpson’s building (now Waterstones) – a pioneering Modernist building of the 1930’s.
The building is designed to express the prestige of the area and the high quality of the accommodation with a distinct identity and strong character. It is built of Portland stone with cast metal details. Column capitals in form of human heads have been commissioned from the leading classical sculptor, Alexander Stoddart. Large crested dormer windows and ten-foot high urns create a dramatic silhouette against a sloping copper roof. A powerful octagonal tower marks the corner of Church Place and Piccadilly. At the upper levels, the plant room is contained within a delicate rooftop pavilion with narrow columns and glass walls.
The design makes full use of traditional classical techniques to fit into its varied urban setting. The facades are carefully modulated with increasing and decreasing detail to reflect the different character of the different streets: Piccadilly has full classical detail while Jermyn Street is more restrained and, in between, the detail is all but removed in Church Place. Although different, each façade is part of a unified and dynamic architectural whole.