Rio Tinto Headquarters / Fletcher Priest Architects / london + köln + riga | fletcherpriest
Rio Tinto Headquarters  Derwent London PLC

In 2003,Telstar House, an office building constructed in the 1960’s, was badly damaged by a fire. At the corner of Eastbourne Terrace and Bishop’s Bridge Road, it is within Westminster’s Paddington Regeneration Area. With the active involvement of Derwent London and Westminster, Fletcher Priest secured planning approval within 8 weeks for replacing the entire building.

Massing, townscape and rights of light studies showed that the floor area of the original building could be achieved on fewer floors, in a form that better responded to its setting. A cascade of set backs resulting from site restrictions visually reduces the bulk of the new building and provides west-facing roof terraces on a number of levels. With much needed new open space at street level and a curved form to echo the corner with Bishop’s Bridge Road, the streetscape is significantly enhanced.

The continuous limestone clad façade is made up of pre-fabricated units that repeat themselves in a handed pattern. These are arranged to provide more shading on areas of the building that are exposed to direct sunlight. Areas that face north have more glazing. This variation provides the patterning that gives the building a distinctive appearance. Window openings are proportioned to relate to both adjacent post-war office buildings and Victorian residential buildings nearby.

Rio Tinto, the world’s leading mining and exploration company, pre-let the building and moved their London headquarters from St James’ to offices that are more conducive to their modern working practices.

Fletcher Priest have, by remarkable coincidence, rebuilt and renovated the large-scale buildings along the entire south side of Eastbourne Terrace that face Paddington Station and border the largely residential Bayswater Conservation Area.

“Fletcher Priest has achieved what so many architects struggle to deliver and that is a new building with integrity that I am sure will stand the test of time and be appreciated for many years to come.  

They have also won a further permission for our site at North Wharf Road which we believe will set the standard for new developments in this location.”  
Simon Silver, Development Director, Derwent London