Westminster councillors have backed Foster + Partners’ plans for an 11-storey luxury hotel scheme in London’s exclusive Mayfair, which includes relocating a Grade II-listed 1970s jewellers’ shopfront
The council’s planning (major applications) subcommittee voted to approve – subject to mayoral referral and various conditions – the practice’s proposals for 8-14 Grafton Street, 22-24 Bruton Lane and 163-164 New Bond Street.
The main focus of the development, which will also include flats and shops, is understood to be a Cheval Blanc hotel for fashion giant Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, which has a number of high-end stores in the district.
All buildings on the site, owned by property developer O & H Group, will be demolished. The plot consists of three predominantly office-use buildings, including 163 New Bond Street, which is a surviving part of architect Robert Taylor’s 18th-century development of Grafton Street, and was granted a certificate of immunity from listing in 2016.
The John Bruckland-designed 1974 shopfront for Wartski Jewellers in Grafton Street will be dismantled and reassembled within the Fosters building on Bruton Lane and Barlow Place.
The Grade II listed 1970s Wartski Jewellers shopfront will be relocated within the Fosters Mayfair scheme
Source: Foster + Partners
Planning officers said the relocation of the shopfront ‘allows its continued use, is acceptable in design and heritage asset terms and ensures that its special interest will be maintained’.
They added that creation of a ‘porte-cochere’ for guest drop-off would be acceptable despite concerns from the Greater London Authority that it would interrupt the frontage. ‘Public art is proposed for the ground-floor façade on Grafton Street, which would improve the frontage,’ said officers.
They concluded that the overall Fosters proposals were ‘acceptable in land use, amenity, design and conservation grounds’ as well as being in line with local and national planning policy.
The 12,345m2 hotel will provide 83 hotel bedrooms as well as entertainment space open to the public. There will also be almost 1,800m2 of retail floorspace within the scheme along with more than 2,200m2 of floor space for restaurant use.
Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy owns 70 brands across several sectors, including fashion houses Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy as well as alcohol brands Dom Perignon, Hennessy and Moet & Chandon.
The group’s Cheval Blanc hotel chain is described as a ‘collection of one-of-a-kind maisons in exclusive destinations, uncompromising in privacy and experience’.
Fosters’ 17,673m² scheme replaces a previous proposal for a 15,649m² retail, office and residential design by Squire & Partners and Blair Associates, which was approved in April 2016.
Foster grafton street site progression