The team combined a thoughtful refurbishment and conservation of historic buildings with contemporary architecture. Common visual themes and improved circulation between Kirkland House, the Ripley Building and the Old Admiralty Building help unify the buildings. The Ripley Building is Grade I listed, and all fall within the Whitehall and Trafalgar Square Conservation Areas. Together with Admiralty Arch, these buildings form a larger complex that has undergone a phased refurbishment to provide modern office space.
The new heart of the complex is a glass atrium that covers a formerly neglected courtyard and enhances the link between three buildings. Removing two elevations of one building opens office floors to the light-filled space.
The design is sensitive to the site’s history, protects sight lines from Trafalgar Square and preserves the aesthetic and historic fabric of the buildings.
Challenges included integrating modern services into the historic buildings – particularly into the Ripley Building, which was originally constructed without the service voids required in modern offices. Careful detailing helped satisfy the rigorous approval process required for a Grade I building.
The project team worked closely with English Heritage and Westminster City Council in the early stages. The team also incorporated views of English Heritage’s London Advisory Committee and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment into the design.
296,000 sq. ft. / 27,500 sq. m.