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Orms wins go-ahead for Commonwealth House refurb

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Orms has gained planning consent for the refurbishment and extension of 1930s art deco office block Commonwealth House in London

The building, designed by architect and planner Henry Philip Cart De Lafontaine, features a curved corner sandwiched between High Holborn and New Oxford Street.

The refurbished building will provide 3,735m² of shopping space and 28,956m² of office space for cliet TIAA Henderson Real Estate.

A statement from Orms said that part of the building will be clad with hexagonal glazed green tiles which were originally proposed by Lafontaine, but not permitted by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, advisor to the Crown and who considered the tiles ‘an innovation’.

The plans also include the insertion of a bank of lifts and bridge decks into a new, full height glazed atrium at the heart of the building, and a new double height entrance and reception on New Oxford Street.

A single story ninth floor rooftop extension is set back from the street between the two brick cores.

All the ground floor retail units will be replaced by shop fronts informed by the 1930s modern style.

Project data

Location 1 New Oxford Street, London
Type of project Commercial with ground floor retail (refurbishment and extension)
Client TIAA Henderson
Architect Orms
Planning consultant DP9
Structural engineer AKT11
M&E consultant Long and Partners
Quantity surveyor EC Harris
Lighting consultant EQ2
Gross internal floor area 41,090m²
Specific environmental targets BREEAM Excellent

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