Our Proposals

Welcome

We want to reimagine a tired 1970s department store and office building at 101-105 Victoria Street, drawing on the site and area’s rich community-led heritage to create a 7-day a week destination providing services and function spaces to the local community, workers and visitors to Central London.

Working with the local community

Our detailed proposals for 101-105 Victoria Street have been informed by the conversations we have had over the past 10 months with the local community and stakeholders. Public consultation from October 2019 – July 2020 has included: Stage 1:

Stage 2:

Stage 3:

Throughout the consultation process we have held 20+ meetings with stakeholders including Westminster City Council officers, ward Councillors, local amenity societies, the Victoria BID, and individual residents. Our online engagement (in the form of social media and a project website) have been continuous throughout the consultation process and have yielded high reach and response rates consistently.

Responding to the Community

We have considered all feedback received to date. Areas of our proposals that the community has helped to shape include:

Anti-social behaviour at 101-105 Victoria Street has been recognised as an issue through conversations we had during the first stage of public consultation. We want to discourage anti-social behaviour through our proposals for 101-105 Victoria Street by four key steps:

Step 1
Remove all low-level overhangs which exist on all frontages to the existing building

Step 2
Create more active retail frontages compared to the existing condition

Step 3
Introduce physical security to the village square outside the retail hours

Step 4
Provide 24/7 security patrols; CCTV to the perimeter of the building ; an ‘Operational Management Plan’ to prepared to ensure the active management of the areas around 101 – 105 Victoria Street

The local community has expressed a desire for more public outdoor green spaces in and around Victoria with Victoria Street being particularly deficient at present. We want to deliver improvements to 101-105 Victoria Street with an emphasis on ‘greening’ the site. Ideas that we are exploring include:

  • New public ‘pocket parks’ on Wilcox Place; in Howick place; along Victoria street and on the corner of Victoria Street and Artillery Row
  • Additional planting in the public realm
  • Green gardens on the façade stepping down to Victoria Street
  • Use of planting around any rooftop screens

Throughout consultation, the local community has emphasised the need for less large format retail and more specialised local amenities in the local area. We want to provide a collection of specialised local amenities (e.g. small shops/local facilities) as part of a reimagined ‘village square’ on the ground floor and in an ‘Activity Zone’ at the lower ground floor level. Amenities we are proposing include:

  • A new publicly accessible ‘village square’, which connects Victoria Street to Howick Place
  • Specialised shops/services reflecting local needs (initial ideas include a grocers, a butchers and possibly a small fresh fruit and veg supermarket)
  • Food offer on Wilcox Place with outside seating; supermarket offer on the corner of Artillery Row and Victoria street
  • Affordable retail space at the heart of the village square
  • A flexible events/exhibition space to host local functions and exhibitions
  • Leisure/sports facilities (as part of the flexible events space)

Throughout consultation, the local community has requested that our proposals for 101-105 Victoria Street are accessible to the community. In response, the ideas that we are currently looking to introduce include:

  • Publicly accessible secured bike parking
  • Priority/subsidised admission to leisure/sports facilities
  • A publicly accessible ‘village square’
  • Potential partnerships with local schools and organisations to guarantee access to leisure/sports facilities through a legally-binding ‘Community Use Agreement’

We recognise that affordable housing is important to the people of Westminster. We are in conversations with Westminster City Council regarding potentially facilitating the delivery of affordable housing in the local area.

Based on the feedback that we have received to date from the local community, where only 2% of those engaged with felt hotels were ‘lacking’ in the area, after the first round of consultation we decided to omit a hotel from our proposals for 101-105 Victoria Street.

We have reviewed and reduced the height of our proposals in response to the feedback we received across multiple stages of public consultation and dialogue with Westminster officers. This has seen the top office floor reduced by 16 metres.

Our proposed new building is Ground plus 14 storeys at the highest point on the corner of Wilcox Place, then stepping down towards Artillery Row.

Residents emphasised they wished to see an improvement in the current servicing arrangements, whereby vehicles service on the street in Howick Place and then continue westwards into the Westminster Cathedral Conservation Area. We are now proposing to make the eastern end of Howick Place two-way and introduce a servicing bay into the south-east corner of the site. In the future all servicing vehicles will enter and leave the site via Artillery Row.

Through these changes, by consolidating servicing arrangements and reducing the quantum of large floorplate retail space, we estimate there will be on average 60 less vehicles servicing the site and travelling into the Conservation Area, every day.

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You are in step one

Our Proposals

The case for development

We have carried out extensive research into possible scenarios for the future of 101-105 Victoria Street, including refurbishing the existing building as well a wholesale redevelopment of the site with a new build. Our sustainability consultants have found that, due to the inefficiencies of the existing building and our commitment to deliver a world-class sustainable development on the site, whole-life carbon emissions would be substantially lower after as little as seven years even when taking into account the additional scale of the new building and carbon associated with the redevelopment works.

Creating a sustainable building for Victoria

Creating a building that is both socially and environmentally sustainable is at the heart of our priorities. We are committed to delivering a building, uses and amenities fit for the future of Victoria and the existing local community. We recognise a need for modern, flexible workspaces, local amenities (shops, leisure and community spaces) that satisfy the needs and ‘wants’ of local residents and workers. Sustainability/energy targets for our detailed proposals for 101-105 Victoria Street, include:

Creating a ‘Carbon Neutral’ building that minimises the need for heating and cooling

Utilise the Whole Life Carbon (WLC) Assessment methodology to understand the redevelopment’s embodied carbon and the lifetime consequences of all design decisions

Target of BREEAM rating ‘Outstanding’ for prosed office and retail spaces

Target ‘WELL-ready’, following the WELL framework including designing-in adaptability to suit users’ needs and certification

The method of construction will facilitate deconstruction and re-use of materials at their end of life with a target of 80% reused or recycle materials set for the Village Square fit-out

Achieve a net gain on biodiversity on site, with a focus on wellness and the user/public’s experience when creating green spaces

Aspire to achieve net zero water consumption for non-potable uses (water that is not for drinking)

We are committed to a sustainable construction process; we are currently considering:

Full details on the construction strategy and the operational servicing strategy will be shared with the local community in due course.

Flexibility built-in

To support social and environmental sustainability of the redevelopment of 101-105 Victoria Street, it is imperative that we ‘build-in’ flexibility. The flexibility of a building or elements of its design ensures that the building can evolve over time and allows it to be used efficiently and respond to potential future uses and market trends, as well as operator and local community needs. An example of this, has been our commitment to building-in windows which can be opened in the future as air quality improves in central London to allow tenants to naturally ventilate or gain free cooling during the hours when the office is closed.

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Our Proposals

Our proposals: The Village Square

We want to create a 7-day-a-week destination providing services and function spaces to the local community, workers and visitors to Central London. Our proposals include:

The Village Square

Specialised local amenities, that one would find on a normal village high street, designed as a ‘village square’ concept making up the heart floor level of our proposals for 101-105 Victoria Street. We seek to build upon the rich history of Palmer’s Green and see the introduction of small retail units, designed to be attractive to independent, local amenity retailers, secured in our Section 106 agreement (for more information on S106 agreements, click here). The Village Square can also be used for public events or market-style pop-ups throughout the year. The Village Square will create a new pedestrian route through the site, connecting Victoria Street to Howick Place.

Proposed ground floor level plan showing the ‘Village Square’

View of the proposed entrance to 101-105 Victoria Street, showing the 'Village Square’



We are actively responding to existing anti-social behaviour on site, through our proposals for the Village Square. We are proposing this through four steps:

The village square has been shaped by the local community. Designing-out anti-social behaviour and providing specialised amenities have been identified as priorities for the local community.

Proposed views of the 'Village Square’

Proposed views of the 'Village Square’

Victoria Street into the ‘Village Square’

The Activity Zone

Beneath the Village Square, at the lower ground floor level, we are proposing a publicly accessible ‘Activity Zone’. A multi-use sports area has been designed to support the needs and wellbeing of the local community as well as those of future onsite, and local workers. Activities we are currently considering include small teams sports and a gym, in a space which can evolve to host functions such as meetings, presentations, and social events for the local community. All the tenants within the building will be given access to the Activity Zone, as well as being available to other offices within the area who do not have capacity to hold events. We want to encourage healthy, sustainable lifestyles at 101-105 Victoria Street, particularly as we look to see how architecture can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proposing ample cycle storage for workers in the building and local area, and a cycle repair shop as part of the Activity Zone for use by the local community/local workers, visitors to the site and workers on site. The number of spaces we are providing meet the requirement for emerging Greater London Authority (GLA) plans that provides a response to the perceived increase in cyclist to work and visitors. Facilities provided will also support those that choose to run or walk to work lockers will be provided. We are committed to ensuring that the existing local community benefit from the Activity Zone. We are in conversations with local schools as we look to prepare a legally-binding ‘Community Use Agreement’, agreeing allotted times and uses to the benefit of young people.

Proposed lower ground floor level plan showing the ‘Activity Zone’

Proposed view of the multi-use space in the ‘Activity Zone’

Howick Place into the ‘Activity Zone’

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Our Proposals

Public spaces and public realm improvements

We recognise the importance on creating new and enhancing existing public spaces in Victoria. We are proposing new pocket parks on Howick Place and Artillery Row, creating new outdoor spaces to sit. The pocket park on Howick Place will be supported by a food provider allowing people to meet and sit in this new public space.

View of the proposed pocket park on Artillery Row

We are also proposing actively ‘greening’ the site where we can. This includes planting new trees on Wilcox Place and adding non-obstructive planters along our proposed Victoria Street elevation which will also serve as security for the village square frontage. The benefit to a new route through the site will be extended with a raised table crossing over from Wilcox Place over Howick Place. These interventions will improve the pedestrian experience and connectivity in the local area and have been shaped by consultation with the local community. A need for more outdoor/green spaces was a recurring theme to come out of our public consultation process. This connection aligns with the emerging plans to Victoria Street, allowing for pedestrians to see the crossing point as they travel down Wilcox Place.

View of the proposed improvements to Wilcox Place

Workspace

We want to deliver a range of high quality workspaces at 101-105 Victoria Street. Our proposals for a business ecosystem, with floorplates which we anticipate will be attractive to a range of occupiers, will help to attract and retain businesses of all sizes, working in a variety of industries in Victoria. We are continuing to propose the delivery of affordable workspace at the mezzanine level above the Village Square to enhance the local economy and provide opportunities for start-up businesses. The workspaces will have access to and be supported by the Village Square, the Activity Zone and the newly proposed public spaces.

Affordable Housing

Through consultation, we have identified that affordable housing is a priority. However as the site does not currently accommodate residential homes and is located in the Victoria Opportunity Area, we do not consider it an efficient use for this commercial site in the future. After an extensive review of the feedback, we are exploring the opportunity to tie our proposed redevelopment to the delivery of an affordable housing scheme in the local area, whilst also discussing a ‘payment in-lieu’ option with Westminster City Council officers.

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Our Proposals

Exemplar architectural design

The design of our proposals for 101-105 Victoria Street seek to respond to the character of the built form on Victoria Street. The building proportions, detailing and material palette of our proposals are inspired by that of the neighbouring properties

Responding to Victoria Street’s character

Materials proposed across five principal facades (four office facades, one retail) include metal and terracotta cladding of varying colour, responding to the character of neighbouring buildings. Similarly responsive is the module dimension and proportion of solid to glass. Glazing is more prevalent on the ground floor creating active frontages for the proposed retail. Upper levels will also benefit from expansive glazing to create framed views facing north. Although adopting a consistent architectural quality whilst detailing, such as a ‘stepped garden’ treatment, break up the north-facing, Victoria Street elevation. The proposed east-facing elevation on Artillery Row actively responds to the architectural character of the street. Window proportions align with that of the building opposite, whilst the materials chosen reflects the hue of its existing red brickwork. Active retail frontages create activation and interest around the perimeter of the site. We are aware that there are concerns regarding experiencing high wind speeds at the base of taller buildings. The stepped garden on the north facing, Victoria Street elevation dispels wind that may be trapped and otherwise travel down the façade.

Approach to massing & Key Views

The community benefits outlined previously are only deliverable if we can deliver a certain quantum of commercial space, predominantly office space. 101-105 Victoria Street sits within the Victoria Opportunity Area, which is a designated area that encourages the intensification of commercial uses. Early massing studies of the proposals included, floorspace over 18 storeys (max. 82.5m in height) which was comparable to the height of Westminster City Hall, with the upper storeys set-back from Howick Place and stepping-down in height towards Artillery Row. In response to feedback from the previous phases of consultation and dialogue with Westminster officers, we have reduced the height of our proposals. We are conscious of the Victoria Street townscape and have considered a range of building heights that respond to the existing architectural character of the area, daylight/sunlight impact on neighbouring sites, as well as responding to key views locally and further afield. We are therefore proposing a ‘stepped’ massing, interspersed with green terraces, that decreases in height from ground floor plus 14 storeys at the western end of the site, down to ground floor plus 10 storeys facing Artillery Row. At 66 metres tall on the Victoria parapet line, our proposed development aligns with 62 Buckingham Gate on the north side of Victoria Street whilst an additional storey of primarily plant equipment, which is not visible in local views, means the high point of our building would be 72.8 metres.

Before and after view (view from West end of Victoria Street)

Before and after view (view from West end of Victoria Street)

Before and after view (view from East end of Victoria Street)

Before and after view (view from East end of Victoria Street)

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Our Proposals

Summary of proposals

Shaped by the local community, our proposals for 101-105 Victoria Street will deliver:

101-105 Victoria Street (short film)

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