11 March 2019
BuckleyGrayYeoman were initially appointed on Department W in January 2012. Schroders acquired the ownership of the building in 2016 and retained BuckleyGrayYeoman to refurbish and rejuvenate this former department store which was completed January 2019.
The existing building was characterised by its history – a single store owner refused to sell to a family wanting to create a new high end department store, forcing the early 1900’s development to be built as a lopsided neo-classical building with a gap in the middle where the Spiegelhalter building remained.
Over the years, little remained of the Spiegelhater’s building with only the façade surviving. BuckleyGrayYeoman retained and celebrated this architectural story and retained and restored the original store façade to create the new proposed entrance sequence.
On entry, the materials of the new intervention – the silver cladding panels and the colour of the glazing – were carefully selected to contrast with the roughness of the existing brickwork. The design for the rest of the building followed a similar ethos: retaining and restoring all of the quirks that the building had to offer, allowing the occupant to discover and experience pockets of moments in its character.
On a practical level, the building was adapted to meet the demands of the modern workspace: a new lift core was installed and various area of floors were re-aligned to improve the building’s accessibility; new WC cores were proposed; terraces were introduced to improve the occupant’s amenities; and floorplates were opened-up to create flexible workspaces.