The 608m² scheme in Marylebone contains conventional office space as well as specialised areas for garment design, production studios and an archive
This new headquarters for Blue Clothing Company, which designs clothing for high street brands including Topshop, Topman, Urban Outfitters, Oasis, Warehouse and Phase 8, is situated in a mews off Gloucester Place in central London.
The brief was to locate all the company’s departments together in a long, narrow mews building which has relatively low floor-to-ceiling heights but generous floor-to-ceiling west-facing windows over its three storeys.
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There is also a showroom where clothes are displayed for sale, connecting through from a reception area and to a suite of rooms containing a large meeting room. The provision of precisely designed and adequately sized storage and archiving was key to the client’s requirements, with the production process requiring the storage of a range of different fabrics, accessories and machinery, as well as an archive of fabric samples, scrapbooks and paperwork.
Huntsworth Mews in Marylebone is the location of the third project we have carried out for our client, Blue Clothing Company. The building occupies almost the whole of the east side of the mews and it is long in plan with a single off-centre stairway and a generously fenestrated façade where, in the evenings, the whole activity of Blue Clothing can be seen. A calm entrance lobby leads to the showroom on the ground floor with a small room to the side in which to meet suppliers.
On the first and second floors the very different types of work, from designing and making samples through to accounts and management, are disposed in the long plan to give different characters of location and are bound together by the simple means of a continuous white floor and transparent screens at the stairway. This is a workspace where people can move, change surroundings, meet in the lunch room, or simply look away from work out of the window.
Linear LED fittings, which provide a large surface area of diffuse light, were used to create the high levels of ambient light required for artisanal work or viewing garments. Lighting in the more ’ceremonial’ areas (showroom, reception and board room) used the same principle as the work areas but with finer, circular fittings made of silver-coloured aluminium. These areas were also made more refined by the use of silk curtain wall linings (which occasionally conceal garment storage), fitted furniture clad in different tones of leather, bespoke garment display rails in brushed stainless steel and elegant loose furniture with a somewhat domestic character in leather, stainless steel, oak and white lacquer.
Tony Fretton and Bernard Brennan, Tony Fretton Architects
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Start on site July 2017
Completion October 2017
Gross internal floor area 608m²
Construction cost £688,000
Construction cost per m² £1,132
Architect Tony Fretton Architects
Client Blue Clothing Company
Structural engineer Engineering Design & Analysis
M&E consultant Bryair Mechanical
Project manager Sam Minionis, Greenhouse Land & Estates
CDM coordinator Greendoor Building Control & Specialist Services Limited
Approved building inspector Greendoor Building Control & Specialist Services Limited
Main contractor Loop Interiors LLP
CAD software used Vectorworks