dla

Nash House

Reframing with a heritage twist

10k ft² Office, 1.5k ft² Retail
Re-use, Workplace
10k ft² Office, 1.5k ft² Retail
Re-use, Workplace
Morgan Capital Partners
Architecture, Interiors & Principal Designer
Complete
EPC A

01 Introduction

A new benchmark for workspace

Occupying a corner position on St George Street and Maddox Street, opposite the Grade I listed St George’s Church, Nash House is a comprehensive office refurbishment situated in the heart of Mayfair in Central London. This existing 1980’s brick building has been transformed with a ‘re-imagined’ façade designed to be contemporary, timeless, and respectful to its historical contextThe building has been radically redesigned internally to create an exquisite, boutique office space with faultless detailing, clean lines, and outstanding natural light, creating a new benchmark for workspace in the West End. 

Façade
Floor Plate
Lift Lobby
Reception
Lift
Toilets

02 Site

Positively contributing to a changing location

The site is within the Mayfair Conservation Area, in close proximity to Regent Street, Oxford Street, and New Bond Street. Mayfair was predominantly a residential town house area with various mews. Modernist developments have gained traction since the Second World War, along with an increasingly commercial presence, but it has retained its domestic scale since the designation of a Conservation Area and the need for new design to positively contribute to heritage parameters. 

03 The story

Re-elevating an existing structure

Positioned on the junction of St George Street and Maddox Street, it commands a prominent position opposite the Grade I listed Parish Church of St George. The existing building possessed some interesting architectural features, brought down by dated materials, dark colours and peculiar window proportions. This position made for a real opportunity to transform the building to meet the commercial expectations of the Mayfair market, as well as provide a stunning contribution to the Conservation Area. The built design adds a competitive offering to businesses seeking an exceptional office space with a Mayfair location and especially those wishing to have proximity to Hanover Square. The project’s timing coincided nicely with the much-anticipated opening of a new Bond Street Elizabeth Line station. 

04 Approach

Forensic design exercise to enhance the appearance using modern elements with a heritage twist

This project’s design was formed by a series of forensic studies on each design component requiring attention. By breaking down the design this way, the final design met the brief and could be tested in terms of constructability, cost and its reception with Westminster City Council. Various other buildings in the vicinity were analysed for design context so the proposal could inherit positive character of the Conservation Area, without being a modern pastiche copy.  

The design approach was to reduce the dominance of the existing dark red brick and create a lighter elevation through the introduction of stone detailing so that it now sits in harmony with its older neighbours which allows the church to be the focus of the junction once more. The comprehensive elevational refurbishment is matched inside the building, with striking detailing and contemporary building services. The 5th floor improvements create a larger commercial floorplate whilst equally enhancing the elevations in terms of appearance and heritage values. The office floors and common parts are all entirely new and through careful planning and detailing the design has overcome several of the building’s original operational compromises, creating a cohesive new workspace environment. 

Typical Floor: Existing / Proposed

05 Context

Revitalised modern façade with traditional materials

The neighbouring buildings’ facades study generated a brief which revitalised Nash House’s appearance, balance, and street presence. The use of traditional materials, such as roof slate and Portland stone, give Nash House’s modern façade credibility within the Conservation Area. The use of traditional design moves like reducing heights of upper storey windows further the familiar scale within the surroundings. Redesigning the 5th floor as a pitched slate roof with dormers, instead of the dated curtain wall glazing, reduced the perceived mass and blended it back in. 

Existing Elevations
Proposed Elevations

06 Climate

Improving the quality of internal space 

By deploying our expertise in tricky refurbishments, transforming sub-standard buildings into competitive spaces, this reduces the CO2e cost imposed by simply demolishing a building a beginning again. This fundamental starting point is made possible by a number of design moves to bring the building into the current commercial market. Enlarged windows improve the daylight factor, a measure of the internal daylight illuminance when compared to outside. Both daylight factor, and interaction with views out have been shown to significantly impact occupants’ subjective well-being and sleep quality, as well as more light exposure showing a trend towards more physical activity. Healthy colleagues are productive colleagues, so potential tenants seeking the best environments to be in recognise this. Aiding this, is the full overhaul of ventilation and thermal comfort measures designed to keep the building insulated and supplied with fresh air at a stable temperature. 

The environmental impact of construction doesn’t end with the completion of the project. Any building has an ongoing impact in use. By removing the use of fossil fuels on site, the building now makes use of the electric grid, which is undertaking a strategy of decarbonisation towards a goal of Net Zero. The Grid currently has periods with very low carbon generation when the sun shines and wind blows. This benefit would not be possible by burning gas on site. 

A portion of the electric grid still uses carbon-producing fossil fuels, so loads were reduced wherever possible. Lighting loads were drastically reduced by replacing the existing end-of-life lighting with new LED lighting and employing energy saving features, such as presence detection. 

07 Passionate about Delivery

A challenging site for construction

Creating a proposal for a vision is only one part of the design process. Creating something which can actually be built – on time, and within budget – is entirely another. Significant construction challenges are added when presented with a site at a traffic light junction with the largest façade onto a narrow, one-way street. By working with the main contractor, our detailed proposals facilitated a regime of ‘just in time’ deliveries focussing on easy handling and minimal waste. The reduction of construction traffic lowered the impact on surrounding parking pressures, and road users, whilst also reducing construction costs. 

Old top floor
Striped out stair
New brickwork 4th floor
Zinc Dormers
New Windows

08 Innovation

A new approach to tenant fitout

Nash House was the first building to feature on MCP’s innovative Configure® platform which easily allows prospective tenants to visualise a range of fitout layout options alongside the fitout cost. 

https://www.configure.london/building/nash-house 

09 Collaborators

Morgan Capital Partners – Client & Project Manager 

Gerald Eve – Planning consultant 

Lucking + Clarke Consulting Engineers – Structural engineer 

Watkins Payne Partnership – MEP  

Costplan Services Ltd – Cost Consultant 

Robore Cuts – Demolition Contractor 

The Thornton Partnership Ltd – Main Contractor 

Project team

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