The London Borough of Camden has granted planning permission to Architects, Bennetts Associates, for its design of a 60,500 sq m, eight-storey office and retail space for joint developers Exemplar and The Bedford Estates. The scheme is widely known as One Bedford Avenue and has an estimated project value of £27 million.
The project is situated at Bedford Avenue, on the east side of Tottenham Court Road in London, and a single building will replace two existing buildings which are reaching the end of their design lives, soon to be demolished. The mixed-use scheme will include retail units at lower ground and street level and offices in the levels above. Floor space is not expected to increase substantially, however, the building will provide a clear improvement in quality: piecemeal, low-grade accommodation will be replaced with open plan and flexible retail and office space.
INTERESTED CONSTRUCTION FIRMS
It is understood that Mace and Sir Robert McAlpine are just two of the construction firms reportedly interested in building the scheme.
Rab Bennetts, director of Bennetts Associates, said that the scheme has been sensitively designed with neighbouring listed buildings in mind: “this prominent site demands a building with physical presence that also respects the backdrop of listed buildings on Bedford Square. We have spent a great deal of time consulting local bodies so we are delighted to receive the support of Camden’s officers and planning committee.”
The ‘physical presence’ translates into the southern elevation rising vertically to form a ‘bookend’ to the block as a whole, while respect for the surrounding listed buildings Will be reflected in the different degrees of sculpturing of the upper floors of the building on its west and east sides. This will enable it to respond to the large scale of Tottenham Court Road and the smaller scale of Morwell Street respectively.
Once completed, the development will be clearly visible from the London Underground / Crossrail station entrance and will add a new visual marker at the start of Tottenham Court Road. According to E-Architect, the building’s façade will boast full-height glazing set in lead-coated zinc panels and stone elements. The main entrance of the building on Bedford Avenue will be accentuated with a bronze portal and canopy, and the continuous shop fronts on Tottenham Court Road will be in similar style, therby distinguishing themselves from other retail outlets in the road. The office floors within the building are designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and retail areas achieving ‘Very Good’.
The project is due to be completed in 2016.