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PDP gets OK to replace Harrods car park with care home

Brutalist new 3
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PDP London has been given the go-ahead to demolish a 1970s car park in west London to build an 8,000m² care home 

The firm is collaborating on the project with Hamiltons Architects, which will design the interiors, on the site of the so-called Harrods car park, which has historical links with the world-famous department store after architect CW Stephens built a warehouse on the site in 1912 to store Harrods merchandise.

Plans for the residential development in Pavilion Road, Knightsbridge, include 34 two-bed apartments, healthcare facilities, a central courtyard, roof terraces and a red brick finish.

Backed by Beaumont Properties, a subsidiary of Singapore-based City Developments, the practice says the development will provide ‘key medical facilities to the local elderly’.

Pedro Roos, a partner at PDP London, said: ‘A rare opportunity presented itself to turn this backwater in Knightsbridge into an inclusive urban space and to deliver a contemporary, yet sensitive design that respects the local vernacular and enhances the character and quality of the Hans Town Conservation Area’.

PDP London has worked on a number of projects in the Knightsbridge area, including the £4.25 million conversion of Grade II-listed terraces on Hans Place into eight luxury apartments. 

Widely reported rumours that an existing tunnel between the project site and Harrods could be re-opened for the benefit of the care home’s residents have been played down, with the development team insisting there was no agreement in place for this to happen. In 2002 Harrods also reported that it would not be possible to open its end of the passageway.

Project data

Location 20-28 Pavilion Road, London W1
Client Dartmouth Capital Advisors
Architect PDP London
Landscape architect Townshends
Planning consultant Colliers International
Structural engineer Waterman Structures
M&E consultant Hoare Lea
Quantity surveyor Gleeds
Extra Care Operator Draycott Nuring & Care
Gross internal floor area 8,044m²


Architects’ view

The architectural composition as a whole seeks to create an inclusive, rather than defensive, urban space. Set-backs and cut-ins are formed on all floors to provide each unit with outdoor space. The floor plan also reduces as it rises, providing the upper levels with large roof terraces and opportunities to reduce the urban heat island effect through the use of green roofs, increased biodiversity and a sustainable urban drainage system.

The concept of the façade is a contemporary interpretation of the Queen Anne typology and the particular character of the so-called ‘Rose Red City’ of the immediate context. The predominant views of the building will be oblique, due to the enclosing street pattern and the design draws reference from a Queen Anne terrace within a typical street context, with emphasis of the vertical fenestration a feature.

This vertical modulation of the Queen Anne typology, the red brick finish with the white stucco and window frame accent, was identified as a key element of the façade treatment of the new building, with the verticality expressed by a series of protruding terracotta fins.

The façade is thus formed by two skins, that of an outer masonry ‘shell’ over an inner crystalline form. The outer shell wraps the building with reference to the scale, materiality and colour of the surrounding context with the crystalline glazed wall behind progressively revealed to the upper levels of the elevation and fully revealed within the courtyard.

Brutalist new 1

Brutalist new 1

Source: PDP London

20-28 Pavilion Road

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