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Piercy & Co gets virtual green light for nine-storey Mayfair office block

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Westminster Council has given Piercy & Co permission to replace a 1950s office block in Mayfair, central London, with a nine-storey building, in what was its first virtual planning meeting

The new 7,900m2 office block includes 830m2 of ground-floor shops and new exhibition space set to sit next to a terrace garden.

The façade features columns of Portland Stone – graded from highly textured at the bottom to smooth at the top – while cast masonry lintels will complete the grid-like frontage.

The building’s Berkeley Square-facing façade will be off-white while its rear, which fronts Farm Street, will be red at its base. 

36 1

36 1

Source: Piercy & Co

Berkeley Square facade - early designs

The two uppermost floors will be set back and clad in softer-grey stone, in reference to the darker rooftops of the surrounding Georgian buildings.

A Labour councillor for the ward where the building will stand had objected to the principle of demolishing the 1950s building to re-provide office space.

And the Greater London Authority had asked the developer Astrea Asset Management to ‘fully consider the refurbishment of the existing building through a Circular Economy Statement’.

However, Westminster councillors unanimously agreed to grant permission to the scheme at a virtual planning sub-committee on Tuesday (14 April).

Since the end of last month, councils have been able to hold planning meetings via video conference as part of changes brought in by the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Astrea Asset Management said the ‘poorly configured’ existing building ‘proved impossible to upgrade to meet current best practice standards’.

Construction of the scheme is due to start in 2021, with completion in 2024.

Architect’s view

Stuart Piercy, founding director of Piercy & Co

Inspired by the beautifully detailed proportions of its historic neighbours, we developed an architectural language of subtly contrasting different beds of roached Portland stone with precise horizontal courses of cast white masonry.

We were interested in exploring ideas of depth, surface texture and the monumentality of stone. Balancing the historic context with the ambition for a beautiful, sustainable and humane workspace drove the design of the building from the inside out.

This is articulated through light-filled workspaces, natural materials and triple aspect views onto terraced gardens and over the historic roofscapes of Mayfair.

Piercyco berkeley sq material palette

Piercyco berkeley sq material palette

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • So the option of building reuse is ignored? The option of de-construction is ignored? The GLA's recommendations on introducing closed-loop Circular Economy principles are ignored? So it's business (plan) as usual 1987 style..... What Climate & Ecological emergency? Again why sign up to Architects Declare if one churns out the same old resource hungry short-termism quick buck making solutions? You know we can do better than this.

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  • Offices are soooo ----- last year Darling!!
    Really; Who on earth would invest in such projects nowadays?

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  • Another quiet, harmless post-war stone building bites the dust in favour of one tricked out in "cast masonry", i.e. concrete. 'Cast masonry', eh? Find it next to the 'Plastic glass'.

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  • Piercy seems to be making a habit of replacing buildings of some character with expensive architecture of less character - and compared to the Smithsons' use of roach bed Portland stone cladding at the Economist offices in St James, this example isn't in the same league.

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