Wellington House, London Mixed-Use Development, England Building, Architecture
Wellington House, London
English Mixed-Use Building – design by John McAslan + Partners
30 Jul 2013
Wellington House London
Design: John McAslan + Partners
Location: Queen’s Gate / Petty France, London, England, UK
London Mixed-Use Development
Wellington House London
In 2007 John McAslan + Partners was commissioned by Land Securities to design a 10-storey mixed use building on a landmark ‘point’ location at the junction of Queen’s Gate and Petty France, London.
This significant project comprises a high-value apartment block with 59 apartments, as well as retail on part of the ground floor, with frontages on Buckingham Gate and Petty France. The building, to be completed later this year, will be the private residential component of the client’s associated development scheme nearer to Victoria station.
The architectural language of Wellington House is based on a contemporary interpretation of the conventional mansion block, with the main body of the building defined as a single volume, clad in masonry. The ninth floor is differentiated with zinc and glass cladding, registering as an attic storey against the skyline, the setback minimizing the building’s apparent height.
Design development has addressed the fact that the triangular site sits within a conservation area, and careful consideration has been given to the building’s Indian Sandstone façade. Surrounded by buildings of various scales, typologies and historic architectural styles, John McAslan + Partners collaborated with the artist Georgia Russell to develop an incised treatment – inspired by the flight pattern of birds and of wind flow – that brings a distinctive new character to the building and creates a visual focal-point for the immediate area.
The building’s fenestration is essentially ordered, with deliberate variation achieving a balance between an individual window element and the complete ensemble. Projecting masonry fins create an additional visual dynamic, enhanced by the oblique views of the building afforded by the local streetscape. The fins also provide a degree of shading and privacy.
Wellington House is essentially freestanding, apart from a single storey car-lift link to the building behind it. As a result, all apartments benefit from good daylight, with those on the top floor enjoying superb views across London. 66% of the apartments are provided with outdoor amenity space (either an inset balcony or via terraces at roof level).
The vertical circulation core is located centrally to provide simple, legible access to all apartments. The vehicle entrance and set down for servicing/refuse collection is located on Petty France. The basement contains parking provision for 19 cars, as well as a cycle space for each apartment.
Notes on Wellington House facade
The stone chosen for Wellington House is a natural red sandstone from India.
The stone was cut to size in India and shipped to Belgium where the sub-contractor Loveld placed them face down into moulds and poured a concrete backing panel on to the rear surface to create a series of storey-height panels.
The stone joints on the panels were then filled by Loveld and a series of metal templates laid over the stone and used as stencils to create the pattern by lighting grit-blasting the surface.
The grit-blasting removed 5-7mm of stone where the pattern was cut out using the metal template, creating the desired relief within the stone’s surface. The process, done by hand, gave a crafted approach to working the stone. The steel templates were cut from digitised patterns created from Georgia Russell’s original artwork (hand cut into card at a much reduced scale) – this meant that small imperfections in the cutting where carried though into the stencils, again giving a crafted approach to the artwork.
The panels are fixed back to the concrete frame with the windows fitted on site. A series of deep recessed balconies enhance the depth of the facade. Vertical fins placed adjacent to the windows provide a further layer to the facade, particularly when seen from oblique views.
The artwork changes in appearance according to the shifting quality of sunlight playing over its surface.
Wellington House – Building Information
Client: Land Securities
Architect: John McAslan + Partners
Artist: Georgia Russell
Interior Design: Helen Green Design
Structural Engineer: Pell Frischmann
M&E Engineer: WSP
Cost Consultant/Project Management: Davis Langdon
Area: 8,500 sqm
Wellington House information / images from John McAslan + Partners
Location:67-73 Buckingham Gate, London, Greater London SW1E 6BE