Flex Space Plus Hub, Piccadilly

A concept proposal for Great Portland Estates seeks to link existing buildings with a new central connector hub.

Following a high-level design review of GPE’s Piccadilly Estate, Burwell Architects were asked to produce a concept proposal for linking the north and south historic buildings of the estate. It is proposed that a new central hub building augments and connects the existing buildings of the estate from Foxglove House on Piccadilly to French Railways House on Duke Street.

The concept has been produced as part of Great Portland Estate’s Flex-Plus approach to creating ready-to-occupy office suites with co-working facilities for small services organisations. As the current lease holdings on the estate have 40 years to run, a comprehensive development of the estate is not viable, and so a proposal that augments and connects, whilst creating new contemporary workspace was worth investigating.

The floor levels between the component buildings of the estate are misaligned, and so proposals to mediate between the various levels are incorporated into the design to create new links. A series of options to create a new Central Hub building between French Railways House and Empire House have been investigated. This significant intervention would create a radically contemporary structure, with adaptable workspace and social areas to create the kind of workspace offer GPE want to provide.

The main entrance to the Central Hub is located off Duke Street, with a secondary entrance on Jermyn Street. Both entrance routes convene within the naturally lit environment of the new Flex Space Plus Hub, occupied by a café with significant tree planting. As the levels rise, opportunities are created to allow entire floorplates of the existing buildings to be connected and used by single end-users or divided into smaller workplaces.

Project Team

Client: Great Portland Estates

Lead Architect: Burwell Architects

Project Data

Net Internal Area: 527 sqm

Concept Design: 2020