Henley Halebrown Rorrison has walked away from a controversial heritage scheme in the City of London after a row over the design
The practice drew up designs, submitted last year to planners, to create a boutique hotel for developer Florala inside adjoining 18th and 19th century buildings in the Bank conservation area.
However, Jamie Fobert Architects has confirmed that it has been brought into look at options for part of the scheme at 67-71 Moorgate and 34 London Wall after HHbR resigned from the job.
Simon Henley, principal at HHbR, told the AJ his practice was no longer involved with the project due to differences over the design of a proposed mansard roof extension.
Developers want to add the structure to part of a listed terrace on Moorgate, the oldest surviving buildings in the street from the Smirke era.
It is understood that HHbR wanted a contemporary design for the mansard but conservation officers at the City of London Corporation, along with the client, insisted the rooftop extension should be designed to reflect the existing look of the building.
‘It was our belief that a traditional mansard roof was no more applicable an addition to a Regency terrace than a contemporary structure,’ Henley said.
Despite reluctantly complying with the request for a pastiche design and coming up with plans referencing the block below, HHbR’s designs met a frosty reception from heritage groups including English Heritage and the Victorian Society.
Henley said: ‘The heritage and conservation people in the City dictated that the scheme should be designed in a pastiche style against the better judgement of the architects and have only ended up offending their own community.’
It is understood that Jamie Fobert a range of options for the roof extension which, ironically, could include a more contemporary design.
Henley said: ‘They should have listened to us 12 months ago and treated the roofscape behind the parapet as a tabula rasa for a more contemporary design of roof extension.’
Actor Ray Winstone has also objected to the scheme because it would mean tailor shop Copperfield would have to leave to make way for ground floor hotel facilities.
In a letter to planners, Winstone said: ‘Over the past 13 years I have purchased countless suits and other garments as well as using their alteration service for mine and my family’s personal clothing.’