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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

High Holborn Scheme, London, United Kingdom

Sheppard Robson granted planning for new Holborn redevelopment
The Holborn Property Unit Trust, in conjunction with Blackfriars Property Group and architects Sheppard Robson, has been granted planning for a 28,000m² landmark mixed used scheme in Midtown London, occupying a complete city block fronting on to High Holborn (50-57).

Located on a tight urban site and within Bloomsbury Conservation Area, Sheppard Robson’s scheme integrates the valuable existing historic buildings into a mixed-use development centred around a new office building appropriate to the emerging Midtown location.

The office buildings will provide 14,300 m² of flexible office space suitable for major occupiers attracted to this prime location. The scheme carefully integrates a relevant mix of uses for the various retained buildings, including private and affordable residential and student accommodation; reconfiguring the city block with a coherent and sympathetic design. Retail and restaurant uses at the base of the scheme feed the tributaries at either side of the site linking the busy urban thoroughfare of High Holborn to the quieter listed Georgian terraces of Bedford Row to the rear.

Dan Burr, associate partner at Sheppard Robson and Design Director on the project, is pleased to achieve planning permission on a complex site with a multitude of planning considerations; “We've worked hard to re-engineer this city block with an optimum mix of uses. The proposal will restore listed buildings back to their original residential use and retain valuable elements of other properties. The scheme complements these buildings with a striking contemporary office design at its heart. The surrounding public realm will be enhanced to calm traffic and encourage pedestrian permeability and complementary retail uses will bring vitality to the street level.”

The proposal transcends a purely functional response to the requirements of the brief and the parameters set by the planning policy, thereby creating a high quality mixed-use scheme with excellent sustainable credentials. The new office building emerges organically from behind and between its distinguished neighbours. The façade has been articulated as a carefully wrapped series of elegant ethereal glass screens, which peel away in layers to reveal terraces, roof gardens and balconies.

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