Squire and Partners has completed a slender apartment building on London’s Hanover Street, featuring full height bespoke perforated shutters. The building forms part of a mixed-use development which also provides a new office building and the Hus Gallery of contemporary art.
Type: Mixed use (offi ce/resi/retail)
Location: City of Westminster
Contract Type: Design and Build
Architect: Squire and Partners
Client: Morgan Capital Partnership
Quantity Surveyor: WT Partnership
External shutter/aluminium rainscreen fabrication: Astec Projects
Precast concrete/balcony fabrication: Lloveld (Belgium)
Shutter frames/mechanisms: Schuco
Show Apartment Interior: Jess Lavers
Photographers: Gareth Gardner and James Balston
Offices: 2,317 Sq.m
Residential: 535 Sq.m
Retail: 127 Sq.m
Planning Submission: Mar 2009
Planning Consent: June 2009
Start of Construction: June 2012
Completion: December 2013
From 1800 to 1930 Hanover Street was the home of military tailoring, which influenced the design and craft in the detail of the building. A chevron motif used to perforate the facade is abstracted from military insignia, and combined with traditional military colours.
The shutters are a contemporary reference to traditional timber shutters used in Mayfair residences to provide privacy and light modulation. Spanning the width of the building, the shutters can be fully opened and closed forming a dynamic frontage to the street and assisting with environmental control. When closed the bronze shutters allow light to permeate through displaying the chevron pattern, and when open reveal flashes of red lining and gold trim.
Each typical floor contains a single apartment with a duplex apartment on the upper floors. Large open plan kitchen/living rooms to the front offer views towards Regent Street and Hanover Square.
Details of Shutters/Façade
The tall narrow façade is broken horizontally by a series of dolomite white pre-cast concrete balconies lipped with anodised aluminium edge trims (Regency Gold). The balconies were fabricated in Belgium by Lloveld. To maintain their slender appearance the balconies were profiled to integrate tracks for the folding sliding shutters, a channel for the glass balustrade, stone floor finish and drainage. The dolomite white face of the balconies breaks the façade into a series of planes, framing the shutters between by form and colour. The contrasting expression of the slabs also emphasised the double height screens to the penthouse.
Between the precast balconies folding sliding shutters provide screening and environmental control to the apartments. The shutters are a bespoke fabricated component built by Astec Projects. They are manually operated rather than motorised to reduce weight and remove additional components to maintain the slender appearance of the balconies. The screens have two different forms of construction, one for the typical floors and one for the double height shutters. The typical floor shutters are fundamentally the frames and mechanisms of a Schuco ASS 70 FD aluminium bi-folding door system wrapped in a perforated skin. The Schuco system was stripped of all accessory components (glazing, weather proofing etc) back to the profiles. The leaves where then wrapped externally, with a dark bronze perforated anodised aluminium panel, internally, with a matching perforated crimson red PPC aluminium panel and edge trimmed with punctured Regency Gold anodised aluminium strips. The double height shutters are finished as the typical floors but have an additional structural component – to offset the inherent racking issues of the 6m tall leaves, the profiles were milled and a secondary steel sub-frame was introduced for rigidity and balance.
The finishes and colours of the shutters make reference to the historic occupation of the site. Dark bronze refers to the traditional material of Mayfair shop fronts, and is perforated in a chevron pattern as a beloved military insignia. The crimson red makes reference to colours used in decorative military uniform – seen only from oblique views along Hanover Street, it acts like the flash of colour behind a military lapel, while the Regency Gold trims reference the colour and finish of metallic buttons and studs.
The language of the Hanover Street facade is continuous along the east flank wall seen from Regent Street. Bands of dolomite white pre-cast concrete (fabricated by Lloveld) extend from the balconies along the facade. Between the bands are bespoke cassette panels of double skin aluminium rainscreen cladding (fabricated by Astec Projects). The cladding retains the relationship of colours and pattern from the shutters, with an external face of chevron perforated dark bronze and inner face of crimson red PPC aluminium. The cladding is punctuated by crimson glass panels that appear to slide out from behind the dark bronze face, and Regency Gold fins that replicate the edge trims to the shutters.
Squire & Partners
Squire and Partners is an award-winning architectural practice who have been designing and executing buildings on key sites in London and internationally for over 35 years. The practice’s approach to design assumes that every site has its own history, character and needs. Derived from a sense of place, buildings respond to underlying themes of materiality, scale and proportion which are common to their locations, whilst revealing a commitment to contemporary design and detailing.