A distinctive new retail façade, commissioned by Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco), designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), and further developed by Brimelow McSweeney Architects with Darwen Terracotta, has been completed at 11 Floral Street in Covent Garden. The shopfront draws inspiration from the building’s original use as a seed warehouse, using the texture and form of a seed pod to create bespoke faience tiles with a delicate repeating pattern.
Prior to refurbishment, the former Victorian warehouse had been used as The Sanctuary and featured a single-storey, 1980’s shopfront. KPF’s design references the original form of the warehouse, reinstating a two-storey frontage and using a scale and arrangement more appropriate to the wider site and 11 Floral Street’s position as the conclusion of the view from Long Acre.
The use of glazed brick and tiles is common throughout Covent Garden and this informed the use of faience tiles which were developed with manufacturer Darwen Terracotta, using extensive sampling and prototyping. The patterned and textured surface of the shopfront creates a façade that references, through form and materiality, the historic context of the site.
The shopfront was designed as one of a series of ‘events’ on Floral Street, which include the ‘Bridge of Aspiration’ at the Royal Ballet School, by Wilkinson Eyre, and the feature bay of Floral Court – another project by KPF – which help to define Floral Street’s identity.
Design architect for the shopfront to No. 11 Floral Street and faience panels, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. Executive architect for the shopfront to No.11 Floral Street Brimelow McSweeney Architects. Tiles by Darwen Terracotta.
Brian Girard, Design Principal, KPF:
“The retail façade at 11 Floral Street demonstrates KPF’s approach to work in Covent Garden – adding, as a new layer of design, a contemporary interpretation of the historic fabric.
“Pattern and ornamentation are prevalent on many buildings throughout Covent Garden, with much of the decoration taking precedent from nature. At 11 Floral Street we took this idea and reinterpreted it to create a unique new shopfront which plays an important role completing the view from Long Acre along Langley Court.”
Dominic McSweeney, Managing Director, Brimelow McSweeney Architects:
“We carefully developed KPF’s design with tile specialists Darwen Terracotta, and we are really pleased with the stunning end product that celebrates the local area. The new retail front has improved the setting of the listed building which was carefully restored without alteration to the historic fabric.”