Honeycomb Tower Gets Restoration Job


London’s iconic Centre Point Tower was recently unveiled as the completion nears of a restoration and redesign that converted the honeycomb building from commercial to residential.

Firm Conran + Partners took on the facelift of the 34-story building, most commonly known for its white cast-concrete facade, originally designed by Richard Seifert.

The Building

Originally an office tower, the Grade II-listed building—though a spectacle to look at—was known for underperforming in the commercial space and for its dysfunctional underground garage, which wasn’t internally connected to the building and required pedestrians to walk up two flights of externals concrete stairs to get to an entrance.

Conran + Partners—which was approached with the idea of the redesign in 2010 by development firm Almacantar—first dealt with those stairs, bringing them into the ground-level lobby.

Inside, the original 1966 white and black marble terrazzo and tiling was restored. On the outside, the exoskeleton was cleaned and re-glazed to match the old as much as possible while improving the environmental performance of the building. Conran partnered with structural engineering firm Pell Frischmann, which pioneered the technique used when the tower was first built, for the restoration of the facade.

“Centre Point Tower is no longer a fossil-fuel-greedy building; it now meets contemporary acoustic and environmental standards that tie into a central combined heat and power system,” said the firm’s Tim Bowder-Ridger, senior partner, in a statement to the Architect’s Journal. “For Conran and Partners, cultural and creative sustainability is also very important in the practice’s approach to projects.”

The Units

About 30 stories of the building were turned into residential units—totaling 82 apartments—and the firm said its goal was to make it look like that was what the building was originally designed for. Cores and service rooms are all lined up with the central spine beams, and all partition walls meet the outer facade at right angles.

“All lower ceilings accommodating the services are centrally placed above the hallways, bathrooms, kitchens and storage spaces, to ensure that it is only the higher ceilings that meet the fenestration,” Bowder-Ridger said. “This approach avoids the unsightly, cranked partitions and dropped bulkheads against windows that are all too often seen in modern residential conversions.”

Color schemes throughout are monochrome, with both black-stained and blonde limed-oak timber throughout the units with the natural stone and terrazzo carrying throughout.


Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Building facades; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Facade Maintenance Design; Restoration

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