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AJ Architecture Awards 2018: Refurb of the Year (up to £20m)

Luxurious materials, hand-crafted elements and crisp detailing made 25 Savile Row by Piercy & Company stand out

A 1937 office building by architect Gordon Jeeves, 25 Savile Row boasted a light industrial simplicity, with an exterior of white render and black steel window frames in a grid form. Developer Derwent London had made the fourth and fifth floors its headquarters in 2000 but by 2014 had outgrown the space, prompting a move to the lower floors and the appointment of Piercy & Co to refurbish the entire building. 

Inspired by precedents including Scarpa’s mastery of materials and Dieter Rams’ economy of detail, the practice undertook an ambitious collaboration with the client and artisan makers. Digital and traditional techniques were employed in an effort to create something generous and long-lasting and add to this distinctive part of London.

Externally, the render and steel windows were refurbished and two rooftop pavilions were added to the fifth floor. A winter garden and terraces were added to the lower floors to benefit employees and better collaboration was encouraged through the creation of a three-storey void, which connects the ground floor through the second floor via a delicate and highly-engineered sculptural stair.

This 18,700 sq ft refurbishment and rooftop extension has turned an average building into ‘something beautiful’, the judges said. With its luxurious materials, hand-crafted elements and crisp detailing, the project certainly grabs attention while remaining tasteful. ‘It’s showing off, but that is what Savile Row is about,’ one judge remarked. 

Shortlist

  • The JP Morgan Media Centre by David Miller Architects
  • The Magistrates by Gort Scott
  • Walk the Plank by Architectural Emporium