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SimpsonHaugh scoops go-ahead for Westminster Homes


SimpsonHaugh and Partners has won planning for a 14-home scheme in Westminster

The brick-clad housing scheme for GSP Real Estate will replace two former office buildings on Buckingham Gate.

The scheme opposite Wellington Barracks, is set within a conservation area and according to the architects has ‘carefully considered form, proportion and materiality to create a scheme that is highly sensitive to its local context’.

Its façade, which features decorative bronze metalwork screens and contrasting brickwork, steps back at the upper levels to reduce the building’s impact on the street.

GSP Real Estate chairman George Farha, said: ‘SimpsonHaugh and Partners was appointed after an invited competition involving five architectural practices. We feel that they demonstrated an understanding of our key objectives for this challenging site which requires a highly contextual design. This is a prestigious project for GSP Real Estate in a sensitive area.’

David MacDonald, partner at SimpsonHaugh and Partners, added: ‘Planning consent in such a prominent Conservation Area is a significant achievement, justifying GSP’s confidence in SimpsonHaugh and Partners. In particular, approval highlights how high quality design and attention to detail supported consultations which convinced all stakeholders that the scheme will enhance its historic context.’

The project is set to start on site in summer 2016.


Readers' comments (3)

  • It's interesting to compare the new facade with those of the flanking buildings - despite the undoubted care taken by good architects to try and design in sympathy with the surounds, it really is banal in comparison.
    There's no image of the two office buildings being replaced, but Google Streetview shows the right hand (northerly) one to be a piece of mid 20th century banality, but the other - much older looking - building would appear to be far more in character with the street than the new proposal.
    Does this type of development need to be pastiche to avoid degrading the street? Surely not, it should be possible to design a new building that's neither banal nor pastiche - especially when the architects are as skilled as these.

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  • Isn't the emphasis in the design of the facade the wrong way round?
    Surely the glazed bays would be better on the left, with the more solid, punched window elements on the right.

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  • How about 'the emphasis' at pavement level - what appears to be a solid (brick?) wall, utterly out of character with the rest of the street.

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