Regeneration of Edgware Road takes a step forward with the completion of Bennetts Associates’ Marble Arch House
The 14,000m² development completed for British Land earlier this year and forms part of The Portman Estate and Westminster Council’s long-term regeneration stragegy for the area.
A new-build element delivers 5,574m² of high-specification office space and 1,394m² of shops, while refurbished Victorian buildings deliver 13 flats plus small-scale retail or restaurant.
The urban scheme incorporates a mix of uses and a varied architectural form which, according to the practice, ‘that reflects the extremes of scale within the site’.
Its facade is largely glazed, within a framework of precast concrete and solar shading panels that are angled to allow views towards Hyde Park. The top floor is set back from the perimeter and takes the form of a lightweight pavilion.
To the rear, the stepped profile of the building responds to the smaller-scale environment of the mews and the character of Portman Estate Conservation Area, with the vertical main core providing a clear visual ‘stop-end’ between offices and residential. The Victorian block on the corner of Seymour Street/Seymour Place allows the large scale of the new-build element to ‘step down’ to the scale of the terrace.
Overall, the office element has achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, with carbon emissions 40 per cent lower than Building Regulations.
This has been achieved through passive design wherever possible, including extensive solar control, high thermal mass, good daylighting and high-performance cladding. In addition, whilst the initial fit-out includes fancoil air-conditioning, the flat slab concrete construction allows sufficient flexibility for alternative solutions in future, including floor-based mixed-mode ventilation and the omission of suspended ceilings to create taller rooms. Further innovations include maximising prefabricated construction, especially in mechanical services.
Source: Paul Grundy
David Walker, Associate at Bennetts Associates said: ‘From the project’s inception, Marble Arch House was conceived as a gateway to the Portman Estate and an anchor to the Portman Village. Our design provides much needed high quality office and retail space that significantly improves the townscape at the southern end of Edgware road and has already helped attract new and interesting businesses to the area.
‘We believe the building will act as a catalyst in Edgware Road in particular, setting the tone for far greater quality and ambition than most existing buildings. Environmentally the building performs well, with carbon emissions 40% lower than Building Regulations.
‘This was achieved through considered passive design measures including extensive solar control, high thermal mass, good daylighting and high-performance cladding, as well as rationalised construction methods such as using prefabricated mechanical services.’
Marble Arch House is one of a number of developments in and around Edgware road which also Rafael Viñoly’s plans for the redevelopment of the Marble Arch Tower. The redesign sees Trehearne & Norman’s 23-storey 1960s tower demolished and replaced with two new limestone-clad buildings of 17 storeys and seven storeys was approved on June 3.
The project, which is being develoed by Alacantar, will see 11,400m2 of office space as well as a multi-screen cinema, 53 apartments and 3,300m² of retail space.