John McAslan and Partners has won planning and listed-building consent for a major £50 million scheme to renovate and extend the Peter Jones store on London's fashionable Sloane Square, Chelsea.
The practice has been developing proposals for the Grade II*-listed building for client John Lewis since 1997. The renovation includes new escalators within the central lightwell, to be extended through seven floors, temperature- controlled ventilation to all areas, improved access, extended layout on the upper floors and increased retail space.
McAslan said efforts had been made to protect and enhance the 'much-loved flagship store well into the new century'. He said the project was necessary because, over time, the building had been extended a number of times, resulting in logistical problems such as only having one loading dock for 500,000 stock items. 'We want to unwrap the history of the building,' he said, paying tribute to the work of English Heritage and the Twentieth Century Society during consultation.
The architect will replace the 'life-expired' services, make the building easier to negotiate, and ease circulation. The remodelled shop - the outward appearance of which will remain largely unaltered - will have over 32,000m2 of retail space. Phased work will start in the next few months. John Lewis Partnership's director of research and expansion, Luke Mayhew, said: 'We're not intending to change the distinctive character of Peter Jones but we need to renew and improve the building in a way that will take the business into the next century.'
The original was designed from 1932 and built from 1935-37 to designs by J A Slater & A H Moberly, and William Crabtree, with C H Reilly as a consultant. It was one of the first examples of the use of the curtain wall in England.