Building History: How the Old War Office was Reimagined as a New London Landmark
The Grade II listed Old War Office constructing has been reimagined in central London. As a brand new vacation spot for the town and rebranded as The OWO Residences, 85 houses can be found within the Old War Office, which has been closed to the general public for over a century. EPR Architects are working to revive and convert the constructing into residences and the primary Raffles lodge in London.
Once full on the finish of 2022, the previous Old War Office will span 760,000 sq. toes comprising 85 branded residences, 120 lodge rooms and suites, 9 eating places and bars, amenity choices, and a spa. Formerly the location of the unique Palace of Whitehall – residence to monarchs between 1530 – 1698, the constructing has witnessed a variety of occasions while political and navy leaders together with Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, and Lord Kitchener held workplace. It was additionally John Profumo’s base when he was Secretary of State for War and impressed Ian Fleming to jot down the Bond collection after working for Britain’s Naval Intelligence Division.
The Hinduja Group is behind the challenge, a world multi-billion turnover group based in 1914 and concerned with the constructing since its acquisition in 2014. It has labored with a group of specialists together with Historic England and Museum of London Archaeology. The lodge interiors are being designed by New York-based designer Thierry Despont. The Hinduja Group has partnered with Raffles Hotels & Resorts, who shall be working the 125-room and suite flagship lodge at The OWO, in addition to the 85 branded residences.
Scottish architect William Young first launched into the design of The Old War Office in 1898, however the challenge was taken over by his son, architect Clyde Young, when William died in 1900. The constructing took 5 years to construct and value £1.2million, lastly finishing in 1906 and spanning 580,000 sqft with 1100 rooms set over 7 flooring and a pair of.5 miles of corridors.
Originally accomplished in 1906 and designed by British architect William Young, the Old War Office is the location of the unique Palace of Whitehall, residence to Henry VIII and different monarchs. Located in Whitehall reverse Horse Guards, the OWO lies inside strolling distance of the capital’s highlights. Residents and lodge visitors shall be close to Buckingham Palace, The National Gallery, The Tate, The Royal Academy, St James’s Park, Embankment and South Bank. The OWO can also be adjoining to 57-acres of St. James’s Park.
With ceiling heights in residences that attain over 12 toes and full-length home windows, the inside proportions replicate basic Edwardian structure that has been tailored for contemporary residing. The residences characteristic interiors created by design studio 1508 London with kitchens from British model Smallbone of Devizes, Waterworks brass ironmongery and Onyx marble. Duplex, lateral and penthouse residences vary in measurement from studios to five-beds; every residence is exclusive and particularly tailor-made to swimsuit its location within the constructing.
“The design team was captivated from the moment we entered the building”, feedback Lucy Savanis, Design Principal at 1508 London. “Understated luxury and timelessness played a huge part in our design language for the project. Our brief was to preserve this chapter of history for future generations through authentic design; to create a home for the world’s most discerning residents and celebrate the building’s unmatched quality, in terms of history, character and architecture.”
Savanis continues; “The intricate William Young architecture ensures no two residences are the same, each with unique proportions and floorplans. In light of this, we have tailored each residence to suit its location within the building, whether that be a voluminous three-bedroom apartment overlooking the residents’ garden or the two residences incorporating their own private octagonal turret. We worked within the existing fabric of the building and exposed its unique features; extraordinary three meter wide corridors on some floors have been showcased as a central feature at the heart of the home and grand entrance hallways bring back a sense of ceremony to modern living, a feature unique to The OWO Residences.”
In phrases of the brand new a part of the facade, the sixth and seventh flooring roof extensions are a mixture of stone cladding and a mansard roof fashion. Around the Residents Garden, a non-public residents-only landscaped courtyard and new stone facades have been constructed. Originally, this triangular open house was surrounded by glazed white brickwork and conceived as a lightwell slightly than a courtyard.
In this space, the unique facades have been principally retained and internalized including a bay and due to this fact de facto “moving” the courtyard. This resolution allowed the group to protect the mobile nature of the areas, retain the proportion of the unique rooms and the legibility of the hall areas which might in any other case be fragmented by the creation of smaller areas reminiscent of kitchens and loos, which are actually principally positioned within the new part. This “relocation” of the courtyard has been one of the vital vital choices made on the challenge, offering the house to allow the optimum layouts for these tremendous prime residences while on the similar time preserving the guts and soul of this historic constructing.
The placing structure of the facade was in tune with the brand new Imperialism of the Eighties with domed turrets together with sculpture. With the appearance of steel-framed development, which arrived from the United States, domes turned cheaper to construct however when it got here to the War Office, architect William Young used a distinct approach: the domes on his turrets are supported on cones of iron and concrete. There was a particular purpose for utilizing domes above the round nook turrets on the War Office. Despite its daring Whitehall facade, which seems as if it ought to entrance an oblong construction, the location was not actually rectangular – the plan was within the form of a trapezium, during which all 4 frontages are of various lengths.
Original options, reminiscent of ornate mosaic flooring, detailed architectural moldings and ceiling heights have all been retained the place potential all through the constructing to create a few of the residing areas. Former mailrooms (generally known as ‘messenger screens’ in a nod to the boy scouts that acted as messengers within the constructing throughout the struggle) have been integrated right into a choice of residences and repurposed as residence workplaces. Similarly, all the inside materiality was chosen to enrich the historic parts of the constructing.
This characteristic is a part of an ArchDaily collection titled AD narratives the place we share the story behind a particular challenge, diving into its particularities. Every month, we discover new constructions from all over the world, highlighting their story and the way they got here to be. We additionally discuss to the architect, builders, and neighborhood in search of to underline their private expertise. As at all times, at ArchDaily, we extremely recognize the enter of our readers. If you suppose we must always characteristic a sure challenge, please submit your recommendations.