58-60 Berners Street & 14-17 Wells Street was a complex inner-city office redevelopment in the City of Westminster. Rolfe Judd Planning provided comprehensive planning consultancy services at pre-application, application, and delivery stages on behalf of our clients Maizeland Ltd and Arringford Ltd.
The site straddles Berners Street and Wells Street, with access to Wells Mews through the centre of the site. It is located close to Westminster’s Oxford Street and offered the potential for prime commercial office space. The development proposal comprised the demolition of 58-60 Berners Street, a convoluted, dated brutalist building, and the demolition behind retained facades of 14-17 Wells Street; a locally listed building. This part retention approach supported the development exceeding the onsite carbon reduction targets.
The new Berners Street building comprises 8 storeys and a basement. The new Wells Street building behind retained façade added a sixth storey and linked the basement with Berners Street. The development straddled the highway (Wells Mews) from the first floor and above. The scheme has been flexibly designed to enable the use as either a single building or two separate ones. The development secured over 7,000sqm of office space with the option for additional office or retail, professional services or restaurant uses at ground floor. This additional massing also had to consider the impact on nearby residential homes.
In addition to harmonising the levels between both buildings, the design had to consider the impacts on the East Marylebone Conservation Area, as well as the setting of numerous locally and statutory listed building including the Grade II* Sanderson Hotel. The development also shared a party wall with The Champion Public House, a Grade II listed building. The client also wished to secure the potential to create an active placemaking Wells Mews which meant a change of character from a back-of-house appearance to the bright circular drum at the rear as well as widening the entrance from Eastcastle Street. The design and materiality of the new Berners Street building was informed by careful historic research, influenced by the arches of the buildings which stood on the site before the brutalist construction which replaced them.