245 Hammersmith Road Building / Sheppard Robson
Text description provided by the architects. Embedding the principles of dynamism and openness at the heart of its design, 245 Hammersmith Road uses the public realm to redefine the business district. Designed by Sheppard Robson, with his interior design group ID:SR, the new building at 245 Hammersmith Road (formerly Bechtel House) for Legal & General and Mitsubishi Estate clients, creates a prominent architectural addition and sequence new public spaces in the business district. Improvement district. The largest single office building to be built in Hammersmith in over 20 years, the scheme offers 22,500m2 of flexible office space and 970m2 of retail space.
Sheppard Robson’s design reduces the mass of the former Bechtel House, with the new building comprising two parallel wings connected by a central core, allowing flexibility to accommodate different layouts and tenants. This allows the building to be set back from Hammersmith Road, creating opportunities for the integration of vibrant civic spaces. A new landscaped square forms a welcoming entrance leading to the sales and reception areas on the ground floor.
A grand archway with a striking landscaped staircase and funicular lift connects the main street and square to a rear podium park, providing an eight meter level change. This passageway – and a new access point along the adjacent street – contributes to the open and accessible nature of the ground floor, rooting the development in its civic setting and reviving an underutilized public space. Open, green spaces extend throughout the building, providing a constant visual connection to its many natural design features, including the landscaped plaza, podium park and rooftop terraces.
The exterior envelope of the building is characterized by the use of anodized aluminum window frames with red angles, specified to create a dialogue with the terracotta brick of the adjacent conservation area. Made with an organic red dye, the angled aluminum panels are matched to their orientation, minimizing solar gain and providing dynamic elevations that respond to changing light levels during the day.
ID:SR’s interior concepts have been designed with the civic framework of the development in mind. The ground floor functions as an extension of the public plaza, evoking a generous civic hall, while providing a variety of more intimate settings to foster collaborative working. The interior is inspired by the English tradition of arts and crafts fused with industrial heritage, reflecting the history of the Hammersmith area. The use of raw materials, as evidenced by the open grid metal ceilings and lighting details, mixes with handcrafted furniture to create an atmosphere that is both family and industrial.
The end point of reception is marked by an installation of artwork that blends into the fabric of the building. Designed by architect and artist Sheppard Robson Patricia de Isidoro, the installation, titled Three Thousand Threads, is a tribute to all the hands involved in the making of the building. The artwork features golden threads suspended between the recessed walls of the reception area like a three-dimensional tapestry, welcoming viewers into the space and inviting them to reflect on the making of the building.