In Pictures: The magnificent restoration of Richmond’s Star & Garter

The former Royal Star & Garter Home has been given a thoroughly high-end makeover by developer London Square and architects PDP London

An ambitious restoration/development of the grand Grade II-listed Star & Garter building at the top of Richmond Hill has completed, delivering 86 high-end apartments and penthouses in a glorious setting with famous views over the River Thames and Richmond Park (the only view in the UK to be protected by an Act of Parliament).

JMW Turner’s take on the view from the Star & Garter, painted in 1819

The Sir Edwin Cooper-designed building (based on an original plan by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1915) was built as the Royal Star & Garter Home for injured ex-servicemen and women after the First World War, on the site of the Star & Garter Hotel – a popular hang-out for literary types such as Dickens and Tennyson as well as European heads of state, first built in 1738. Veterans were cared for here from 1924 until 2013, when the charity moved to a new purpose-built home in Surbiton.

Restored Italianate gardens and West-facing terrace

Developer London Square acquired the building in 2013 for c.£50m, and appointed PDP London to advise on the restoration, conservation and conversion of the building.

The project has restored delightful Italianate gardens, created two levels of underground car parking, and installed a bunch of amenity offerings including a cinema room and a new pool in the historic King’s Room, complete with spa and treatment room. The idea, according to marketing bumf, is to offer residents “a lifestyle akin to a boutique hotel or private club”.

Externally, the building retains its original glory, and most of the internal showstoppers – such as a marble-drenched entrance hall – have been retained / enhanced. Many of the less historic later additions – such as lightwell infills and externally mounted services – have been removed.

The Star & Garter’s restored marbled entrance hall

Architects held “numerous discussions throughout the design and construction process” with the Petersham Common Conservators about how best to contribute in the long-term to the local area and heritage; developers went to “great lengths” to re-establish the original views of the hill-top landmark from the river.

London Square involved local youths in the completion, creating a time capsule containing a snapshot of Richmond life with pupils from the Old Vicarage School in Richmond penning a collection of stories on life as children in Richmond now – and how they imagine it will be in 50 years’ time. A timeline of the history of The Star and Garter, documents from the Richmond History Society, artefacts from the Royal Star & Garter Homes and newspaper and magazine cuttings on The Star and Garter were also included in the capsule.

The King’s Room, now a pool and fitness suite

Sales got off to a strong start when launched in September 2015, with the team reporting 2,000 potential buyers registering interest in the first few weeks. Remaining units include two-bed apartments from £1.75m, and three-beds from £2.5m.

Project Team

  • Developer: London Square
  • Architect: PDP London (Simon Gazzard, Partner in Charge; David Kennedy, Project Architect)
  • Planning Consultant: DP9
  • Structural Consultant: Watermans
  • M&E Consultant: Hoare Lea
  • Historic Consultant: KM Heritage
  • Highways Consultant: WSP
  • Landscape Consultant: Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape Design
  • Acoustic Consultant: Paragon Acoustic Consultants

In pictures

Images courtesy of PDP London & London Square