25 Great Pulteney Street

London, UK

This seven-storey commercial building is the redevelopment of a site on Great Pulteney Street in the historic heart of London's Soho. The development is within a conservation area and there are several listed buildings in the vicinity.

The scale and proportions of the new façade relate to the verticality of the Georgian townhouses that characterise the street. The material treatment is, however, uncompromisingly modern and allows maximum visual connection between the interior and the vibrant street scene outside.

The rear elevation is made up of a series of stepped and curving, south- and west-facing terraces, which reduce the mass of the building. Maximum glazing on the upper floors allow long views out over the Soho rooftops. Soho's dense grid of narrow streets and alleyways, much of it laid out during the 17th century, is intrinsic to its colourful character as London's most central village. Great Pulteney Street was developed as part of the Pulteney Estate during the early 1700s, and many of the original residences still survive as listed buildings within a richly varied streetscape.

The site at number 25 was bombed during the Second World War and subsequently occupied by a poor quality 1960s building, so this new office development draws extensively from the proportion, rhythm and massing of the surrounding streetscape in order to form an appropriate bridge between the historic buildings of the street and the more modern developments nearby. The colour and materials palette is also inspired by the context – the green glass accents on the front façade draw from the striking glazed brick building on the corner of Beak Street, while the rear elevation is composed of an abstract arrangement of projecting window bays set within a white glazed brick wall, a treatment used extensively on tiny Bridle Lane.

This new office development draws extensively from the proportion, rhythm and massing of the surrounding streetscape in order to form an appropriate bridge between the historic buildings of the street and more modern developments nearby.