Derwent London involved Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in a masterplan for their Gresse Streetand Rathbone Place properties, developing the sites over time, and eventually identifying thepotential of the site to act as architectural catalyst for the regeneration of Evelyn Yard’s publicspaces.
In the heart of London’s West End, the Charlotte Building sits immediately adjacent to theHanway Street Conservation Area and is subject to strict height constraints due to its situation inone of London’s strategic viewing corridors. While the street pattern dates back to the 16thcentury, the immediate area is comprehensively redeveloped: Gresse Street is characterised by19th and 20th century buildings of 6-7 storeys, while Rathbone Place is characterised by 4-5storey semi-industrial Victorian buildings.
The design responds to the context with a strong modern architectural statement, responsive toWestminster’s market demands. While striking enough to signpost the client’s intentions ofregeneration, the curved façade respects the historic building lines and the landscapingenhances the laneways of the conservation area. Structure and design have made it possible tohide plant in the basement, and the top storey is set back from the street line, permitting a roofterrace on the sixth floor.
The façade has been designed to balance technical and aesthetic criteria and create a dynamicand delicate skin. Each façade has been finely balanced to give the correct percentage of solid toglazed areas to meet requirements for daylighting and control of solar gain whilst creating a tautglass skin of horizontal bands externally. A subtle articulation in façade depth emphasises thehorizontal banding of the skin and relates to the punched windows of neighbouring buildings.
The building completed in November 2010 and is now home to a lively mix of young technologyand design companies.
Awards RIBA Award for Architecture 2010 BCO Best Commercial Workplace in London 2010 Building Design Architect of the Year Award 2011