Hobhouse court is a mixed use development encompassing 20 residential homes,1100m² office space, a new art gallery for the Royal Watercolour Society and 650m² retail space, comprising of both Grade II* listed renovation and new build. Covering an extensive range of building types, one of the most challenging aspects was providing engineering solutions that were effective for all of them.
The scheme comprises a partial demolition, a new building, and the sensitive renovation of the connected retained building. Located along one of Central London’s oldest thoroughfares connecting Leicester and Trafalgar Square, the Grade II* listed site provides a vibrant, accessible environment designed to enhance the streetscape and preserve the historical surroundings. The development restores part of Whitcomb Street, as well as the historic vaults underneath.
Working for Bankfoot Group alongside Arquitectonica, Brisac Gonzalez and TP Bennett, we provided M&E and Acoustic design services including assisting the client in attaining planning consent, providing building modelling, and giving early stage sustainability guidance with regards to materials, renewable technology selection and conditioning strategies.
Our biggest challenge was designing an air conditioning system for the gallery spaces that both met the stringent Government Indemnity Scheme requirements for the display of art and was sympathetic to the architecture and fabric of a listed building.
Our design included implementing sustainability strategies that allow the residential accommodation to meet the code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 (that were in force during design), and the non-residential to gain BREEAM 'Excellent'. This was achieved by using ventilation systems with low specific fan powers, CHP to provide heatig and hot water, a high COP VRF system, low energy lighting, as well as PV and air source heat pumps that will be used as most efficient and practical options for the site.
The specification considered the challenges of a busy city centre location in regards to both M&E and Acoustics.
The project has been selected as an Architizer A+ Awards 2020 Jury Winner in the Architecture + Brick category. With entries from over 100 countries, we are proud that Hobhouse has been recognised for representing the best of global architecture.