Wilkinson Eyre redesigns former spy centre
Wilkinson Eyre is to restore the 1960s landmark Empress State building in west London.
Restoration plans will give a new lease of life to the 29-storey former MI5 building.The project is due for completion in spring 2003.
Work will involve the addition of a lightweight three-storey structure on top of the building.
Constructed from steel and glass, it will be set back from the facade with a lightweight oversailing roof and topped by a circular tower room with panoramic views across London.
Curtain walling will replace the existing cladding on the east and west elevations.On the south elevation, a 5m-deep steel frame between the third and 26th floors will be clad with glazed curtain walling and a continuous 'floating'screen of aluminium sunshade louvres.
At ground level, a two-storey circular base will house an enlarged glazed entrance, reception area, cafeteria, ancillary office space and plant room.
Landscaping around the building will create a piazza and open arcade extending south to an additional entrance building on Lillie Road.The three-storey building will close off the street frontage and provide a main street entrance. It will be constructed from steel and glass with a large overhanging louvered canopy along its eastern side.
The scheme, for developer Land Securities, will add 12,000m 2to the 38,000m 2floor plan.The Empress State building, originally designed by Stone Toms and Partners, has been empty for the past three years.
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has granted planning permission for the project, subject to legal agreement.
CREDITS ARCHITECT Wilkinson Eyre Architects CLIENT Land Securities Structural ENGINEER Anthony Hunt Associates MECHANICAL ENGINEER MG Partnership ELECTRICAL ENGINEER BWS Partnership QUANTITY SURVEYOR E C Harris VIDSN LANDSCAPE DESIGNER PRP Landscape ACOUSTIC CONSULTANT Hann Tucker Associates PLANNING CONSULTANT Jones Lang LaSalle