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Douglas Wallace's Bow Street Magistrates' Court goes for planning

Douglas Wallace Architects has submitted these designs for the complete overhaul of one of London's most famous buildings - the Grade II-listed Bow Street Magistrates' Court and Police Station.

A year on from its initial proposals (Plans unveiled for Bow Street Magistrates' Court) Irish developer Edward Holdings has applied for planning and listed building consent to Westminster City Council to transform the building into a complex consisting of a luxury 80-bed hotel, restaurant and a museum celebrating the building's history - including the infamous trial of Oscar Wilde.

The design will see the preservation of many of the building's notable features including its white - rather than the usual Metropolitan Police Force blue - lamps at its front, and its Classical 1880s facade.

As well as preserving courtroom Number One - which will be used as a dining room - 16 cells will also be restored to their former 'glory', albeit with a few tweaks to make them acceptable for guests seeking a unique 'sleepover' experience.

While the facade is being maintained, at the rear of the building the courtyard, previously used as a turning space for police vehicles, will be 'eaten into' to make room for a modern extension to allow more hotel rooms.

Gerry Barrett of Edward Holdings said: 'We believe Douglas Wallace has developed proposals that more than satisfy our responsibility as this historic building's guardian, and secure its long-term future as a landmark London hotel.'

Douglas Wallace hopes the scheme will be completed by the middle of 2009.

by Max Thompson

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