Raises the bar for Oxford Street
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris for Dukelease Properties & BA Pensions Trust
Contract value: £26.5m
This building is a contemporary beat on the eastern end of Oxford Street, at its junction with Soho Street. It is composed of a clever sandwich of mixed-use retail and office, wrapped in a sensuous glass skin whose vertical glazed fluting recalls structures that once inhabited the site, while the tripartite elevation reflects the hierarchy of surrounding buildings.
Fashion retailer Zara is at ground and has made it one of its flagship stores. The glass facade reflects all the great traditions of department stores and gives a contemporary feel on shopfronts and display cases. Offices sit above this with upper level apartments.
The client’s and architect’s ambitions were extremely high, there has obviously been a good working relationship with the team and planners which has breathed beautiful new life into a commercial building and raised the bar for Oxford Street. With clever references to context, this is a thoroughly delightful mixed-use and sky-line.