Grid Architects has won planning for a 14,500 m sq residential building on Horseferry Road, Westminster, a site which was at the centre of the ‘style wars’ provoked by the debate around Chelsea Barracks. Grid’s design replaces proposals by another architect who was briefed to provide a classically styled building and a contemporary alternative that were controversially approved in 2009.
As well as resolving the stylistic issue, the new building provides modern accommodation compliant with the London Plan, not provided by the earlier designs. The £46 million scheme for Barratt Homes West will provide 129 apartments over 11 floors.
Craig Casci, Director Grid said “The former consents just did not work out, and there was no flexibility to develop a good accommodation. We had to start from scratch, and despite Westminster’s initial reticence, they worked with us to produce the best solution”
The design provides balconies and well lit, spacious accommodation. The set back floors of the stone clad building are shrouded in a bronze mesh veil that encloses the balconies but allows views out. The rear building façade will be made from bronze anodised aluminium to reflect the industrial history of the site which was previously a large gas facility.
Westminster Magistrates Court had many famous faces through its doors, including the London rioters and Amy Winehouse. The Court has now moved to Marylebone Road and Casci says that having people back in the street will benefit adjoining residents. The Court will be demolished but a giant concrete basement will be retained from the original design and the new building will reach a Code 4 Sustainable rating.