London, United Kingdom

Program: A seven-story, 65,500-square-foot speculative office building in the Noho neighborhood of London. The ground floor has extra ceiling height to accommodate functions like a showroom or restaurant, and the top floor is recessed to create an outdoor terrace with views over the city. The project is located on a site formerly occupied by a 1950s office building.

Design concept and solution: Working on a small, oddly shaped site with an 84-foot height limit, the architects set out to maximize usable space, and to play off the gritty West End locale with a jewel-like glass facade. They opted for a compact triangular core at the edge of the site, leaving room for an L-shaped floor plate with good daylight access. To get the most out of the floor-to-ceiling heights, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands condensed service zones wherever possible. To avoid suspended ceilings they used floor-based services distribution and cast light fittings in the concrete soffits or surface-mounted them. On the exterior, pedestrians see a play of light and shadow as they move around the building, thanks to the facade's spandrel panels with dotted fritting and recessed shadow boxes. The architects staggered the perimeter columns to shuffle the facade's vertical lines and emphasize the luminous bands of spandrel panels. At the sixth floor they used more clear glass to take advantage of the views across the city.

Design Architect
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
22 St Peter’s Square,
London U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)208 600 4800
Fax: +44 (0)208 600 4700

Completion Date: October 2009

Location: 17 Gresse Street, London W1


Owner: Derwent London

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
22 St Peter’s Square,
London U.K.
Tel: +44 (0)208 600 4800
Fax: +44 (0)208 600 4700

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Paul Sandilands, Director (registered)
Alex Lifschutz, Director
Brian Reynolds, Associate Director (registered)
James Miles, Associate Director (registered)

Adams Kara Taylor
Services: Norman Disney & Young

Lighting: GIA Equation

General contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction Ltd

Chris Gascoigne
+44 (0)7831-340-260

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Microstation



Exterior cladding
Masonry: Blue Engineering Brick

Metal/glass curtainwall: Farhni

Concrete: Decomo

EIFS, ACM, or other: Sto Render

Built-up roofing: Alumasuc Hydrotech

Glass: Farhni

Entrances: Dorma

Hardware: all hardware Allgood D-Line

Interior finishes
Raised flooring: Kingspan Torlock

Reception furniture: Brown & Carroll

Interior ambient lighting: WILA

Elevators/Escalators: Kone Lifts