The original Victorian terrace which stood on the site was truncated by a road widening scheme in the late 19th Century. What replaced it in the 1950’s was a very poor attempt to repair the streetscape and for many years had not been maintained.
Standing in the heart of Oxford Street, one of the World’s most famous shopping streets, the site has long been a development opportunity and many parties have attempted to buy it over the years.
Through Appley’s direct approach and negotiation with the owner, the property was secured in an ‘off market” transaction. The purchase was structured as a sale and leaseback with a flexible break clause, to allow time to achieve planning consent for the redevelopment proposals.
The site presented a number of challenges. It is in the Mayfair Conservation Area on an irregular, triangular plot and surrounded by busy shopping streets.
Initial contact with Westminster City Council planners indicated that there was a real prospect of redevelopment and that only a world class architectural design would be acceptable.
A design team of the highest quality was carefully selected. Award winning architects, DSDHA were appointed. Appley set the brief and vision to include a mix of retail, office and residential uses and a series of design workshops followed. The result was a unique façade solution composed of a series of subtly varying, profiled moulded, terracotta elements which create a sense of movement when viewed from different angles. The idea being that this linked to the River Tyburn that ran below the property and gave a large part of London its fresh water supply.
The design solution was praised by the planners at Committee and a consent was achieved. It is rare for a contemporary building of this nature to have been granted planning consent in this highly sensitive Mayfair Conservation Area and it is testament to its design integrity that it was so well received.
A high profile preletting campaign generated considerable interest from retailers all over the world. A direct approach was received from Bosideng – Chinas biggest clothing retailer. Terms were agreed for a sale of the asset and the site became its first European store.
The development is now one of London’s architectural landmark’s and has won various awards.
The development was undertaken in a venture with Melford Capital.