Unilever London Headquarters
100VELondon, UK Unilever PLC Corporate, Heritage + Historic, Interiors, Repositioning + Transformation 386,000 ft2 / 36,000 m2 Excellent AIA National Chapter Honor Award for Architecture (2008), MIPIM Awards - Refurbished Office Buildings (2008), ULI Award for Excellence: Europe (2008)
The transformation of historic Unilever House involved preservation, conservation and restoration of the exterior façade and key interior spaces, as well as the complete renovation, reconfiguration and modernization of the building interior. Occupying a prominent site on the Victoria Embankment overlooking the River Thames, the building was originally completed in 1932 and listed as a Grade II landmark structure in 1977. The building has served as the headquarters for Unilever since the early 1930s.
Extensive consultation was held with Unilever employees to develop a design to provide high-quality office space that responds to the company’s operational requirements while retaining important parts of the building to safeguard its historic character.
Offices are provided in the restored and extended Crescent and Watergate wings. A new central atrium hosts the main circulation area and brings natural air and light into the center of the building. KPF’s design re-opens the original main entrance at the center of the Embankment façade, with minor adjustments for universal accessibility.
Public spaces are located at ground level, while meeting rooms and staff facilities are on the top floor of the building. The scope of work also included improvements to infrastructure, parking, and vehicular drop-off areas.
In addition to receiving the AIA National Chapter Honor Award for Architecture, the Institute’s highest honor, this project was recognized with the City Heritage Award for Outstanding Excellence in the Renewal of Buildings and Conservation and the AIA New York Chapter Sustainable Design Award recognizing is achievements in energy efficiency and materials conservation and reuse.