18 and 19 Buckingham Gate is a new residential building for property investors GSP Real Estate Ltd by award-winning architects SimpsonHaugh and Partners. The scheme, which has just been granted planning approval, will provide 14 new homes and is programmed to start on site in the summer of 2016.
The project is located opposite Wellington Barracks, close to Buckingham Palace, and within the Birdcage Walk Conservation Area. Particularly close attention has been paid to the scale and architectural detailing throughout the design development of the scheme. The main elevation of Buckingham Gate is situated on a street that features numerous examples of Georgian, Queen Anne and Victorian architecture, so an analysis of form, proportion and materiality has been carefully considered to create a scheme that is highly sensitive to its local context.
The building facade steps back at the upper levels to limit the impact at street level and to be consistent with the form of adjacent buildings. High quality materials, such as detailed brickwork in contrasting bonds and decorative masonry provide a contemporary addition to the streetscape complementing the neighbouring listed structures and the wider Conservation Area. Decorative bronze metalwork using abstract patterns form screens which maximise internal privacy whilst maintaining good views from the building’s projecting bay windows.
Replacing two former office buildings, Buckingham Gate will feature off-street parking, roof gardens and improved energy performance. SimpsonHaugh and Partners won the commission following an invited competition. The practice has conducted in-depth research to inform its contemporary design and detailed craftsmanship of this significant scheme on a heritage site.
GSP Real Estate Chairman George Farha said:
“SimpsonHaugh and Partners was appointed after an invited competition involving five architectural practices. We feel that they demonstrated an understanding of our key objectives for this challenging site which requires a highly contextual design. This is a prestigious project for GSP Real Estate Ltd in a sensitive area.”
David MacDonald, Partner at SimpsonHaugh and Partners added:
“Planning consent in such a prominent Conservation Area is a significant achievement, justifying GSP’s confidence in SimpsonHaugh and Partners. In particular, Approval highlights how high quality design and attention to detail supported consultations which convinced all stakeholders that the scheme will enhance its historic context. As its first detailed planning submission in Westminster, the project reinforces the diversity of the practice’s work in the capital.”