art deco geometric panels envelop building complex in london

squire partners designboom 1200 1

Squire & Partners completes large-scale development in london

 

Architecture and design practice Squire & Partners completes large-scale project ‘The Broadway’, in London creating a contemporary response to the surrounding art-deco architecture. Covering up to one million sqft, the mixed-use development establishes a new Westminster destination comprising residential, workspace and retail uses with a generous new public realm. The design of The Broadway is rooted in place from the urban scale down to the final details of the development, with the UK-based firm providing total design encompassing the master plan, architecture, and interiors to achieve a unified scheme that creates a unique sense of place. The building complex constructs six high-rise volumes wrapped in diamond-shaped pre-cast panels made of concrete and bronze forming its distinctive facade.

 

Previously housing the Metropolitan Police Headquarters, the site’s entire footprint was occupied by a defensive 1960s block creating a wall along Victoria Street. Lacking any urban design or contribution to the public realm, the existing use was inappropriate for retrofit as the building was purpose-built. The design concept behind ‘The Broadway’ was to divide the site into two podiums with three buildings ranging from 14 to 19 stories on each. Generating a campus feel with a new connection through the site linking Victoria Street with Broadway and Dacre Street, the structure frames views of the Grade I-listed 55 Broadway. Reintegrating the plot into the urban grain of the area, the new public space, Orchard Place, is named as an extension of the adjacent Abbey Orchard Street. Drawing upon the art deco architecture of 55 Broadway by Charles Holden, the project forms a pared-back, contemporary composition that references the period’s geometric shapes, jewelry, fashion, and opulence.

art deco geometric panels envelop the facades of building complex by squire & partners


all images by Jack Hobhouse

 

 

concrete and bronze frames fabricate a diamond-shaped facade

 

Proposals aim to create a cohesive design across the six buildings, whilst respecting the context of both the commercial buildings on Victoria Street to the south and the historic sandstone mansion blocks of the Conservation Area to the north. Consequently, a family of three design languages is employed across the development, used to pair buildings on the west and east of the site to create a connection between the podiums. Located on the extremities of the site, buildings one and six are paired with the same language of dark grey pre-cast concrete and dark bronze window frames. Addressing Victoria Street, buildings three and five feature white pre-cast concrete with medium-toned bronze window frames and a honeycomb metal mesh installed within the glazing units. To the north, buildings two and four reference the Conservation Area beyond with sandstone-colored pre-cast concrete and light bronze windows.

 

The three palettes of light, medium, and dark bronze metal are carried through respectively to apartment interiors, also designed by Squire & Partners, with kitchen islands and shelving finished in the same material to unify the design. The oblique lines of the distinctive facade panels create full-height glazing with a sense of place for occupants. In each bathroom, bespoke sanitaryware complements marble wall and floor finishes, whilst custom-made wardrobes feature in bedrooms and entrance halls.

art deco geometric panels envelop the facades of building complex by squire & partners
view from Victoria Street, The Broadway’s grey and white pre-cast facades respond to the commercial architecture

 

 

each apartment lays out a distinctive interior development 

 

As each building occupies a different footprint, repetition is minimized in the residential layouts, creating individuality in each apartment. The development provides 268 apartments, three floors of office accommodation, and an animated ground floor with retail and restaurant uses. Entrances to the workspace levels are located along Orchard Place, further activating the new central street. The lower ground floor and two basement levels house residential amenities, including a spa with a swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms, treatment rooms, a gym, changing facilities, a games room, cycle storage, and parking.

 

The complex mix of uses at this scale in a central urban location required careful planning of the six buildings following different design parameters and working cohesively without compromising the different components. Uses are stacked on top of each other on a grid to connect the buildings, with a basement that spans the whole footprint across three levels and interconnecting podiums on the fourth floor providing shared external landscaped space for residents.

 

art deco geometric panels envelop the facades of building complex by squire & partners
view from the historic sandstone conservation area to the sandstone-colored pre-cast facade