Plans by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) to demolish and rebuild its former Thames Wharf Studios have been abandoned due to the collapse in London’s high-end apartment market
The AJ has learnt that landlord London & Regional and former employee Marco Goldschmied are no longer willing to pay the £6.5 million planning contribution agreed when planning permission was granted in 2015.
Instead the original £35 million scheme has been abandoned in favour of refurbishing the existing studio building, which is now understood to be 80 per cent let.
Goldschmied told the AJ: ‘We have taken the view that for a number of reasons it is not the right time to redevelop the consented permission and have been letting the premises for leases of between five and seven years.’
The refurbishment work, including an overhaul of air conditioning and installing modern, raised floors, has been designed in-house.
The 2015 plan would have seen the demolition of existing buildings and their replacement with two buildings of up to nine storeys, providing 57 homes along with restaurant and office space.
The existing River Café, run by Richard Rogers’ wife Ruth, would have been retained.
It is understood that Ruth Rogers had hoped to open a pizza parlour on the ground floor of the refurbishment scheme, but the space has now been let to Re:Centre, which will open a ‘wellness’ space.
The operator has appointed architect Cousins & Cousins to create the new space.
A statement from the practice said the scheme would include a communal workspace, a rented workshop area, a dedicated yoga studio plus a health restaurant.
Richard Rogers Partnership, which later became RSHP, moved into Thames Wharf during the 1980s before moving to the Cheesegrater in early 2016.
In 1989, the building was extended upwards with a lightweight rooftop structure designed by the practice in association with Lifschutz Davidson.