The critical constraints to the site are dictated by the existing Grade II Listed 1930’s building – one of London’s first ramped car parks. The building is locked into the surrounding urban grain with limited accessibility and natural light penetration. The existing building steps away from the street edge – breaking the historic façade line of Brewer Street. The car park was built with a series of complimentary social uses that activated the now unutilised forecourt.
Two approaches are to test the feasibility of introducing social uses to the vehicular ramp – the most significant protected building element. Options with residential, commercial and retail uses will explore the adaptability of the site’s existing assets.
The highly significant existing ramp is preserved and enhanced, forming a new green route through the building – a multifunctional asset supplying natural light, access and amenity to the new accommodation. The existing steel frame structure is utilised for new uses - existing slabs are cut to let light deep in to the plan form along the green route’s edge. The predominantly residential use option creates a shared surface for vehicles and people, celebrating the car as a design object. The predominantly office use option creates a shared surface for bicycles and people, providing opportunity for informal exchange.
Historic Building Consultant: Donald Insall Associates
Rights of Light: Savills
Cost: EC Harris
Structure: URS/ Scott Wilson
Services: Hoare Lea
Fire: Hoare Lea
Transport: Transport Planning Practice