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Emrys wins approval to refurb Richard Seifert-designed office

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Emrys Architects has won approval for the refurbishment and extension of a 1980s office block in central London designed by Centrepoint architect Richard Seifert

Plans for the five-storey building in 15 Stukeley Street, Holborn include painting the brick façade black, replacing the glazed entrance, new windows, and demolishing the existing roof extension to make way for a larger one.

According to the practice the colour change is part of the practice’s ‘monochromatic’ vision for the architecture, which will also feature internal black and white finishes. 

Backed by GMS Estates, the works will increase the office space by nearly 25m² to  1583m².

Glyn Emrys, director of Emrys Architects, said: ’We have enjoyed working to bring this fine yet tired building by Richard Seifert back to life. Our new extension aims to respect and enhance the existing building, and to bring it back into productive use as high specification office space.’

Work is expected to start on site in November 2017, with a completion date scheduled for summer 2018. 

Earlier this month, Emrys Architects completed 30 Broadwick, a £35 million mixed-use building for Great Portland Estates.

Ground floor plan

Ground floor plan

Source: Emrys Architects

Ground floor plan

Architect’s view

We are giving the building a new lease of life by providing Grade A office accommodation throughout. An elegant glazed box roof extension replaces a dilapidated mansard extension added in the 1990s, and will enhance the overall appearance of the currently vacant building, which is located between the Seven Dials and Bloomsbury Conservation Areas.

Externally, all existing windows will be upgraded while new horizontal picture windows provide views along Stukeley Street. The extension follows the curved profile of the building with an exaggerated roof canopy to provide a more harmonious connection with the original building, with vertical glazing replacing the earlier extension’s slate mansard roof. While the footprint of the extension has been expanded to make more efficient use of the available space, the structure is stepped back in order to reduce its bulk and to respect the host building’s characteristic stepped façade.

The scheme includes changes to the building’s roof terrace to improve its overall appearance and roofscape. A densely planted ivy screen which currently surrounds and obstructs the terrace has an overbearing appearance when viewed from the street: this will be replaced with a minimal black PPC aluminium screen with a decorative cut-out geometric pattern. Planting will be visible through the perforations but will have a much subtler appearance than the existing screen.

We envision the building to be monochromatic, with the existing brown brick façade painted black and all internal finishes black and white. The concept for the shopfront design is based on the geometric patterns typical of the work of Richard Seifert, and these are also incorporated into the enclosure of the metal spiral escape staircase, and the roof terrace screen panels to the roof extension.

Stukeley street emrys 301

Stukeley street emrys 301

Source: Emrys Architects

[Approved] 15 Stukeley Street refurbishment and extension by Emrys Architects

Project data

Architect Emrys Architects
Client GMS Estates Ltd
Gross internal area 1583m²
Structural engineer Sinclaire Johnston & Partners
M&E Milieu Consult
Main contractor TBC
Quantity surveyor Project Focused
CDM co-ordinator Vey Consulting
Landscape Emrys Architects
CAD software Autocad
Form of contract JCT
Start on site November 2017
Completion Summer 2018

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Readers' comments (1)

  • For all the talk of a 'monochromatic vision' is the ongoing fashion for wrapping buildings in black a practical response to rising awareness of just how filthy the central London atmosphere is?

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