SODA reworks Soho

Nick Myall
Tuesday 24 May 2016

A new design remodels existing buildings the distinctive Soho Conservation Area in London

SODA has won planning consent for the substantial renovation and rooftop extension of three adjacent buildings on a key corner site in Soho, central London.

Designed for client Metrus (on behalf of Benesco Charity ltd.) the project is located at the junction of Frith Street and Bateman Street and includes a spectacular sculptural roof pavilion with a folded, Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) roof.

SODA’s design remodels and upgrades the existing buildings while retaining and enhancing the distinctive character of the Soho Conservation Area context. The three buildings had gradually expanded and merged over the years, resulting in a rabbit warren of inefficiently connected rooms.

A new structural and servicing strategy rationalises circulation with the addition of a new core and the reconfiguration of two internal lightwells. This creates larger, more efficient floorplates for four floors of offices, three residential units and upgraded basement and ground floor retail and restaurant space.

New terraces with living walls will be introduced into the west lightwell, providing external amenity space for workers. New lifts provide improved access throughout and a new entrance core is created for the upgraded residences.

The copper-clad rooftop extension is designed to unify the disparate and muddled roofscape across the site. The new pavilion is stepped back from the building edge to minimise impact on the roofscape and is configured to respect Rights of Light constraints. Internally, the CLT structure is exposed and combined with white plaster walls, polished concrete floor, and bespoke metalwork and detailing throughout.

“Our approach restores, refurbishes and improves the outward aspect of this important site while introducing exciting architectural interventions and added value in the lightwells and at roof level,” says Russell Potter of SODA.

The redesign will provide an additional 414.5 sq m of Net Internal Area (NIA) within the existing site boundary. Improvements to lighting, mechanical and electrical designs and enhanced thermal performance are expected to yield a 52.6% reduction in regulated carbon emissions. The planning consultant on this project has been Treanor Consulting.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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