Location: Whetstone, LB Barnet;
Client: Redrow Homes;
Uses: 145 apartments, 1870 sq.m commercial space;
An exciting opportunity to reinvigorate a rapidly declining 1960’s tower block, an existing landmark on the skyline of suburban Whetstone High Road.
The loss of commercial tenants and a change in working practices has seen this building failing, with no investment meaning the fabric is poorly managed and maintained.
Changes in the Permitted Development rules highlighted the potential for sustainable re-use of the building and the opportunity for a mixed use residential led redevelopment. This is a comprehensive approach addressing how we might work with existing buildings.
The existing building will be fully stripped and then reclad. A finely detailed refurbishment will reinvigorate the building, capturing the pristine character of the original design.
The refurbishment is complimented with a restrained, new brick built block to the rear. The proposals optimise the severley sloping site with a building which steps down the slope of the site, almost 10m overall, and conceals car parking at the lowest part, where the existing parking is located. This new building is a courtyard, with open aspect to the south so that new residents can enjoy a tranquil sunlit amenity space throughout the year.
The scheme is mixed use, new workspace and retail space onto the street provide activity at ground floor level, whilst above the residential development offers surveillance of the public realm. Carefully organised access encourages cars to access parking on the existing northern side of the building, whilst courtyard residential entrances are reached form a generous promenade on the southern side of the block.
This is a comprehensive approach to a frequent situation in many of the outer London Boroughs which can contribute greatly to a sustainable enhancement of a vibrant town centre.