Buckingham Green sets new standards for public realm on this site at the edge of St James’s, close to Parliament and Westminster Abbey. In Fletcher Priest’s design the thousands of people who walk across it between the underground station and workplaces will pass attractive, high quality shops and restaurants which can spill into sunlit spaces catching midday and evening sun, rather than through a dark alley lined with service retailing and service vents.
Improving the public realm comes from reinforcing and imaginatively combining different characteristics of the site and its surroundings. The context is late Victorian ornamented brick buildings with mature trees marking axes. Fletcher Priest’s replacement for a tired podium to a 1970s tower reflects this character with richly articulated red brick. It also beds the tower site more comfortably in its setting, with a fully glazed lobby, a reduced and rationalised core cased in luscious marble and innovative dark bronze-cased windows which sit in the steel frame. It has four floors of offices with 12 of long term tenancy apartments above. The building will be 80% more energy efficient when complete.
Fletcher Priest’s design draws on their record in urban masterplanning from Broadgate to Nomura’s hq at Angel Lane, which depends on their ability to recognise a site’s character and identity.