27 Old Bond Street

London, UK Matsushita Investment and Development Heritage + Historic, Repositioning + Transformation, Retail 24,000 ft2 / 2,000 m2

Located in the heart of London, the 27 Old Bond Street site is situated on one of the world’s most exclusive and long-established premier high-end shopping streets near the Burlington Arcade and Royal Academy, and adjacent to the Royal Arcade and Tiffany’s. The Albermarle Street frontage is opposite Brown’s Hotel. 27 Old Bond Street has recently become the flagship store for DKNY, the retail outlet of international fashion designer Donna Karan. A separate entrance on Albemarle Street incorporates a lobby leading to two levels of office space on the 4th and 5th floors, occupied by the British Film board and the owner, Matsushita. The lower level is occupied by the renowned New York restaurant BICE.

The seven-story building is set behind a two-story 1920s period façade, which was retained as part of the project. Taking its cues from the naturally day-lit arcades in the area, the design is conceived as “vertical” retail arcade featuring a large atrium that unites all floors and brings light deep into the middle of the ground-floor retail area. Three escalators glide, crisscrossing the atrium space, drawing shoppers to the upper retail floors and a café and restaurant on the top floor.

One meter of the existing floor slab at the two stone façades is retained and tied back to a new steel-edge beam, the new floor at a slightly different elevation from the old floor elevation to facilitate this coupling. New windows with new mullions replace the old, and a new lead roof is added.

The interior optimizes the changing effects of natural light. The palette is bright and light, incorporating white metal, brushed stainless steel and white marble enhanced by delicate tensile truss-work supporting the clearest atrium glazing available. The atrium edges are defined by shimmering crystalline glass panels that glisten in the sun. By day, the interior exploits the full changing effects of natural light. At night the truss-work is up-lit to dramatic effect in colors that reflect the season--all of which is visible from the street.

The design features operable windows in office spaces and natural convection within the vertical atrium. For the office space, fan coils and sun shading blinds temper the effects of the window area light, while extracted air is removed both by the forces of mechanical roof units and the natural updraft from the atrium. The retail area takes full advantage of the effect of a thermal flue which is created by the sun heating this south-facing exposure and the updraft of cooler incoming air from the ground floor entry. In the summer, spring and autumn, this natural convection draws cool air up through the atrium and is exhausted at the pinnacle of the truss.

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