Barts Square (Residential), EC1 London, UK
The Barts Square masterplan, developed by Sheppard Robson for Helical, establishes a new urban mixed-use quarter in the heart of the City of London.
The 3.2 acre development includes 236 residential units, 30,000ft² of retail, and 235,000ft² of office space. The site is located in one of the most architecturally significant areas, in terms of quality and character, in the City of London. The proposals enhance these qualities through a sensitive yet contemporary reinterpretation of the existing fabric, seamlessly knitting-in where required, and creating new architectural statements where appropriate.
Bordered by the City and St Paul’s Cathedral to the south, and by the soon to be regenerated Smithfield Market to the north, Barts Square is a permeable patchwork of buildings and uses, slotting into the existing street pattern of the area. Located, in part, in the Smithfield Conservation Area, the historic plot widths and building scales have been maintained. The new buildings have been inserted into the existing narrow street pattern, with a number of the façades of the nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings retained and enhanced. Poor quality post-war buildings have gone, replaced with new buildings designed to complement the scale and materiality of their neighbours – with a palette of materials consisting of brick, stone, timber and glazed terracotta tiles – ‘robust’ and traditional in feel.
In order to enhance architectural variation, Sheppard Robson held a limited competition. The winners of this, Maccreanor Lavington and Piercy&Company, went on to provide concept design for façades to three buildings. The interiors have been designed by Johnson Naylor. They comprise a mix of high specification 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments in character buildings, and are designed to achieve CfSH Level 4.
Residents’ amenities include a private dining and meeting room, a residents’ lounge overlooking a private garden, a private cinema and a lounge bar. Cycle parking, and limited motorcycle and car parking, is provided below ground.
The existing public realm is reanimated and transformed into a usable, pedestrian-friendly and highly legible environment – opening up historic links into soft and hard landscaped spaces – whilst retaining and recreating discrete public, semi-private and private external spaces. Little Britain, once a rather faceless and bland stretch of ‘backs of buildings’ – will become a new ‘high street’, designed to house a series of small scale, high-end shops and outlets.
- 61,000 m2