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Rolfe Judd talks shop about Carnaby Street complex

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This colourful redevelopment of the former Carnaby Street Shopping Centre ‘enhances the fun and vitality that is at the very heart of this area’, says Jonathan Carter, director at Rolfe Judd


The AJ120 practice has completed the £11.5 million second phase of the redevelopment of the former shopping centre, which closed in the 1970s.

The new Carnaby Court building close to Oxford Circus houses 592m² of restaurants, 729m² of shops, 907m² of offices and 14 flats.

The scheme sits in the heart of the Carnaby Estate, the cultural epicentre of London during the swinging sixties. The architect was tasked with designing a building that was flexible and efficient in the way it accommodated its multiple uses.

‘Although the architectural response to defining the scale and rhythm of the facades was based on a contextual approach, a key ambition was to develop a language which was vibrant, and responded to and enhanced the fun and vitality that is at the very heart of this area,’ says Carter.

Rolfe Judd developed a materials palette that mixes a simple base brick with a series of colourful glazed stone bricks and panels. The two street elevations have been given different colour combinations to give each facade a unique presence.

‘Once the palette had been chosen, the elevations were built up in a series of layered frames which defined various rhythms. Brick was used to set up the primary structural frame with the glazed brick forming a secondary frame often counterbalancing the first,’ says Carter. ‘A third layer of glazed panel was then added to define the body of the elevation itself.’

Carnaby Court by Rolfe Judd

Carnaby Court by Rolfe Judd

Kingly Street Elevation Sketch

Project data

Architect Rolfe Judd Architecture
Location 22-25 Kingly Street / 14-18 Foubert’s Place
Type of project Mixed-use – commercial, retail, residential
Structural engineer Ross & Partners
Client Shaftesbury Carnaby
Gross internal floor area:
Retail (Foubert’s Place) - 729m²
Restaurant (Kingly St) - 592m²
Residential - 750m² (14 units)
Commercial offices - 907m²
Cost £11.5 million
M&E consultant Watkins Payne
Quantity surveyor Michael Edwards Associates
Planning supervisor Rolfe Judd Planning
Main contractor Blenheim House Construction

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