New houses in Bridford Mews
Portland Place, London W1
This terrace of 3 new-build houses sit next to the rear of the RIBA's historic Grey Wornum-designed headquarters building and replace 6 old garages. The new terrace will bridge the gap between Bridford Mews and the rear of 70-74 Portland Place, a fine 1908 ‘Champs-Élysées’ style apartment building by the Edwardian architect Frank Verity. Verity designed many West End apartment blocks, cinemas and theatres, his best known being the Criterion on Piccadilly Circus.
The new terrace takes the form of a fictional new rear elevation to the Verity building; his stone Portland Place elevation design has been stripped of its middle and top parts leaving just the rusticated and arched bottom base remaining. This has then been reinterpreted in rusticated brickwork with giant arches which in former times could have been the portals through which grand Edwardian carriages entered and exited the building. In fact the arches will form the entrance, garages and upper street windows of the new houses.
The Howard de Walden Estate, the clients for the project, originally approached TCA because of the the mew’s difficult design character in which a multitude of different styles compete for attention. These include a shiny metal clad block of flats by Make as well as the RIBA’s own large backside. The Estate wanted a creative and lateral approach in this complex context and TCA felt that taking Verity’s interesting building as a starting point would give the mews a central focus & some townscape drama that it currently lacks.
Completion due: Spring 2018.
Client: Howard de Walden Estate