This monumental six-storey building, constructed on the line of a railway embankment, is 150m long and 15m wide. Although there was a planning consent for conversion into two hotels, Baylight felt a higher value could be generated through B1 use. We envisaged a Clerkenwell-like creatives' building in West London: something that would stem the flow of media and communication companies from West London to the East.
Financed in a joint venture with Helical Bar, the project comprised stripping out the previous occupiers internal fittings and partitioning, adding a new floor and breaking the excessive linearity of the building with a new two lift core and fire escape serving all floors. The conversion is designed to provide flexible accommodation for up to 42 tenants in 155,000 sq ft of space.
Baylight was keen to work in tandem with The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on the project. This included actively employing trainee labour during construction, notifying eventual building occupiers of the local workforce, and providing a green transport strategy - fewer car parking spaces and major provision for cycles and mopeds. As part of this strategy showers are provided in each core. Finally, a payment as part of a section 106 agreement was made to compensate for the extra office floor.
Harper Mackay has remodelled the building. An extensive part of the ground floor now forms a 'heart' for the building users to share. This comes in the form of a large bar, cafÃ© and common room with pool tables, sofas and an exterior terrace. Leading from the central bar, large linear spaces either side of wide central corridors are divided into smaller studios. These have now been let to niche companies that serve the needs of larger space users within the building such as Big Brother producer, Endemol.
The position of the building is now established in the West London market and builds on the themes of our project for M&C Saatchi at 36 Golden Square - that of creating a building with a social heart.