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“The one that we’re pleased isn’t called ‘Number Two’”.

Number One, Wimbledon

Client — Kingston FG ltd
Area — 9,750 sqm
Use — Commercial 
Status — Planning Approved

‘There are no new ideas in architecture.’

That was, maybe surprisingly, our starting point for this project - which develops the design approach and material palette we employed on the refurbishment of Wellington House nearby.

But that’s not to say that we’ve designed it without love and care.

And we’re also trebling the net area on the site.

Unlike the commercial office refurbishment projects we’ve done elsewhere in Wimbledon this is a new-build – catalysing a wider masterplan - which provides a fantastic opportunity to design an all electric building - able to fully exploit the statutory decarbonisation of the UK Grid by 2030 - with long term Circular Economy principles in mind from the outset.

That means providing column free, super adaptable space, everywhere. Natural light is available from at least two sides of each floor - even when subdivided. The flexibility of this approach means that the building can be easily re-purposed for other uses over time, e.g. residential or hotel, long into the future - giving it a durability way beyond the (outrageously short) 25-year design life specified for so many commercial buildings of the recent past.

The elevations are predominantly brick – and we’re hoping we can persuade ourselves, our client, and the cost plan, that using re-claimed brick (in which energy (& hence carbon) is already embodied) and lime mortar (which has a lower embodied energy than cement mortar - and makes the bricks easier to recycle at the end of the building’s life) is a viable solution.

Outside the building we’re doubling the width of the existing pavement and more than doubling the amount of planting on site to create a generous and verdant new entrance - bringing as much life and activity to the public realm as possible.

Cycle storage, showers and an on-site gym - ‘encouraging activity and supporting well-being’ (for the marketeers amongst you) - are all easily accessible from the street via a powered ‘Cycle Escalator’.

‘Cycle Escalator’? - sounds weird doesn’t it? - but it’s a real thing - Google it.

This building will never get a moniker like ‘The Shard’ or ‘The Walkie Talkie’.

It’s not iconic – and it’s not trying to be. It’s just a building. A good, durable, adaptable, responsible building designed to enhance the public space around it and the private lives within it.

Designed not to outshine, but to outlive its flashier peers. maybe that is a new idea?

Come and see us:

17 — 19 Leicester Square
London, UK

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Or call or e–mail:

+44 (0)203 490 1243

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