Inspired by Perret’s quote: The Universal Building should be a ‘shed fit for any purpose’ & also the Uffizi in Florence, originally an office building, later becoming a museum. The concept was developed in response to the client’s ambitions brief - to replace an existing building in a landmark setting, with a high-quality development designed to stand the test of time & improve the surrounding area.
Good office buildings need generosity of space to enable long term flexibility. A structural 'sway frame' concept allows the building to self-stabilise & be independent of the buildings core. This 'soft-core' contains building functions which may need upgrading in the future, providing the ability to refurbish without impacting the enduring structure.
Formally the garden to the original Lansdowne House, the site has only been built-upon twice. First in1935 with an elegant art deco inspired residential building and then the existing constrained commercial building (1988). The proposal seeks to restore the ‘garden and pavilion’ relationship enjoyed by the original Lansdowne House by enhancing its relationship with Berkeley Square.
The exterior is inspired by its context, including the original building, through its rational and classical order. Oriel windows reflect the luxury heritage of Mayfair, which in combination with a celebrated sway frame, provide depth and delight. Significant public realm improvements knit into the wider strategy for The Square and surrounding area.
Sustainable design is at the heart of the buildings' concept. The redeveloped Lansdowne House will have generous floor plates with an independent core. In the future, this may be reconfigured or replaced without requiring wholesale demolition of the building. The redevelopment will include outdoor space at every level and a roof top terrace with greening and biodiversity. Openable windows provide fresh air, and enhanced floor to ceiling heights maximise daylight penetration. This will have a positive impact on the well-being of users while enabling the building to adapt to a changing climate.
Located at the southern end of Berkeley Square in Mayfair, London, the landmark Lansdowne House site will be transformed with a new high quality and sustainable commercial building. The new building is designed to last for generations to come, its structure is shaped for efficiency and celebrated as Architecture.
The building is designed to achieve the highest possible standards for sustainability and wellbeing, targeting BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum.
The redevelopment will provide modern office and retail space and reconnect the building to the historic square through significant improvements to the surrounding public realm.
The existing building is constrained by an inefficient layout of multiple structural cores, compounded by low floor to ceiling heights. In contrast, the redeveloped Lansdowne House will have far more generous floor plates with an independent, centralized core. In the future, this may be reconfigured or replaced without requiring wholesale demolition of the building.
The design follows classical principles inspired by the original Lansdowne House (built in 1768) and restores the building’s original ‘Garden and Pavilion’ relationship with the square. These classical proportions create a new building that better respects the character and history of the area.
The redevelopment will also include an outdoor rooftop terrace that incorporates greening and biodiversity, and balconies on every floor overlooking Berkeley Square.
The development of Lansdowne House is a textbook example of a confident innovative design for a nationally sensitive site attracting support from the local community, the planning authorities & ultimately an occupier for the whole building, the largest ever letting in Mayfair. The radical soft core design allows for a sustainable approach to the whole life of the building which resonated with all the stakeholders. David Ainsworth, CO-RE
Established in 1989 with offices in London, Bristol and Oklahoma City, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris makes buildings that are satisfying and enjoyable to use, beautiful to look at and easy to understand. The practice designs very different buildings for very different people to use in very different ways, making places as well as buildings that work over time and have lasting qualities intrinsic to their architecture.
Winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize and recipient of many other awards for architecture and design, the practice has received public and media acclaim for its work across sectors. AHMM is known for its reinvention of buildings and places including the Angel and Tea Buildings, Television Centre, the Barbican, and New Scotland Yard, as well as key new commercial, residential and education developments in London, around the UK and internationally.