Old Marylebone Town Hall

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Application Type

AABC Conservation

Level of Award

Commendation

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

Westminster

Information about this scheme

The story of the Sammy Ofer Centre is a combination of creativity and stamina, where careful refurbishment and uncompromising modern design sit comfortably next to one another. The new glazed link structure creates both a centrepiece for the design and a new distinct entrance for the School, giving sole use of the civic steps of the Council House to the Westminster Register Office. The steelwork lattice is supported off the existing buildings to make the structural design as efficient as possible and satisfy a planning condition that the view through the two buildings should remain as clear as possible. The simple diagrid mediates the structural misalignment between the two buildings, creating a bold steel and glass intervention. The area between the buildings was excavated to create the new reception at the lower ground level – the half flight descent acts as an antithesis to the formal civic steps to the two period buildings whilst maintaining a strong connection to the street. A new bridge connection between the two buildings contains the entrance and security beneath it and terminates the steel and glass skin, again enhancing the visibility through the structure. The bridge provides the primary connection between the main social and study spaces and the lecture theatres, animating the link from the pavement. Inserting the new, larger scale lecture theatre accommodation into the existing building fabric presented a challenge and required the demolition of the existing 1960s infill (following bomb damage sustained during WWII). The new structure increases the upper floorplates to accommodate the two larger of the six new lecture theatres, pushing out the building line to create a daring limestone curtain that dramatically overhangs two storeys of curtain walling. The project involved the faithful refurbishment and conservation of both the existing internal and external heritage fabric of the listed buildings, including: external stonework; architectural metalwork; internal marble cladding, French polished timber panelling; fibrous plaster ceilings and cornices; and timber parquet floors. The design team responded to the challenges faced within the building through archival research, site investigation and a collaborative approach with the skilled crafts people engaged on site.

Credits

Architect

Sheppard Robson

Client

London Business School

Interior Designer

ID:SR

Main Contractor

Wates Group

Project Manager

Colliers International

Services Engineer

Long & Partners

Structural Engineer

Ramboll

Acoustic Engineer

Sandy Brown Associates

Primary Use Class

Class D1c - Education