The former Royal Mail sorting office on London Street is located among the sites of some of Britain’s great engineering and historic scientific achievements; Brunel’s GWR terminus, the Grand Union Canal’s Paddington Basin and Alexander Fleming’s ‘penicillin’ laboratory at St Mary’s Hospital. The rejuvenated Paddington Basin is connected to the station by London Street, which has become an increasingly important and attractive thoroughfare with the arrival of the Crossrail interchange.
Fletcher Priest’s design creates modern workspace for growing business sectors in the retained 1908 building, together with 95 apartments on Winsland Street and Winsland Mews, arranged around a landscaped courtyard. Ancillary offices facing Praed Street are linked to the main blocks with a parking floor below street level, and are transformed as 34 apartments that are accessed from the mews.
The externally expressed structure of the new office is generated by the need to straddle a myriad of tunnels and new Bakerloo Line ticket hall below. The deeply modelled structure provides the required lateral stability and shades the floor-to-ceiling glass so that it achieves BREEAM ‘Excellent’ environmental performance targets.
Only a few steps from Paddington and the new Crossrail station, the transformed streets, new landscaped court and extensive roof terraces will make this an attractive and popular place for people to live and for businesses to grow.