Together with our client Shaftesbury plc. Rolfe Judd Architecture and Rolfe Judd Planning have played a major role over the last 20 years in helping to transform the Carnaby Estate to become one of the most vibrant and celebrated mixed use destinations in London. Our involvement has varied from major award-winning new buildings down to numerous small-scale refurbishments – each contribution as important as the last in maintaining and enhancing a carefully curated environment.
Carnaby Village sits within the Soho Conservation Area and is in many ways the jewel of the West End. A close working relationship with Westminster City Planners has been vital in achieving some excellent consents. It is perhaps easy to underestimate the advantage to a project when a design officer is confident that the design team already understand the key design principles at play and the quality that this conservation area demands.
Each design response is individual but there are a number of factors which are common between almost all our projects. Firstly, each project must make financial sense. There is no point of development simply for developments sake. Having said this however, each intervention might add to the cumulative whole rather than be judged as a standalone project. This approach allows us the freedom to think more strategically rather than simply on an individual building basis. Projects must also work on multiple levels and it is common for a single building to contain retail, restaurant, offices and residential – true mixed development.
Because each project responds individually the demands of the conservation area often require a rigorous response. As an example, Carnaby Court was a new build project with elevations to both Foubert’s Place and Kingly Street. The facades were carefully designed to respond respectfully to the demands of the conservation area but also to create a vibrant modern response to the streetscape. Rustic brickwork was combined with colourful glazed stone panels to great effect. A multiple award winner, we were delighted when Carnaby Court won the AIA (UK) Design excellence award (medium development) in 2020.