Westminster green-lights Adjaye’s 5 Strand scheme

Starchitect's mixed-use revamp of 1980s office block in the Trafalgar Square Conservation Area

Westminster Council has given the all-clear for the redevelopment of 5 Strand into a major new mixed-use scheme.

Alchemi Group and investment manager Blackrock Real Estate are behind the project, which will transform the uninspiring 1980s building into 26 apartments, 62,000 square feet of Grade A office space, and a couple of retail units. The plans have been drawn up by Adjaye Associates, no less, with Alchemi acting as development manager.

The resi element will cover just over 60,000 square feet from the 7th floor up, accessed via a separate, concierge-manned entrance on Craven Street. The biggest unit will be a four-bed penthouse measuring over 3,735 square feet.

The freshly-published Sub Committee report specifies a payment of £7,074,945 towards the City Council’s affordable housing fund, a carbon offset payment of £97,710, and car club membership for residents (for a minimum of 25 years).

Speaking when the plans went in at the end of last year, Blackrock’s Paul Tebbit said: “These proposals will transform the currently poor quality streetscape and public realm with provision for retail and café uses, which combined with the impressive façade detail will enhance the character of the Trafalgar Square Conservation Area. The professional team, led by development manager Alchemi Group, have incorporated detailed guidance from planning officers, Westminster City Council and numerous stakeholders in developing the final design.  The result will be an outstanding building of extremely high quality.

Co-founder and Creative Director at Alchemi Group, Laura Marino: “From the moment we were appointed on this outstanding project we knew that an exceptional design, befitting of its landmark location, would be of paramount importance. After holding a private competition, we appointed Adjaye Associates, who have just unveiled The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C.. We listened carefully to the feedback from planning officers and Westminster City Council, and the end result is, we believe, a truly outstanding building befitting this prestigious location.”

David Adjaye, Principal of Adjaye Associates: “The opportunity to work on the Strand, adjacent to the iconic Trafalgar Square, is an immense honour and one that I do not take lightly. My team and I have undergone rigorous investigation into the history and development of this crucial piece of London’s urban fabric. Blackrock and Alchemi Group has been an incredible partner in this process. I am very proud of the resulting design, which draws from the architectural rhythms and forms of the context to produce something both modern and contextual, elegant and distinctive.”

Blackrock acquired the 75,000 square foot block back in 2011 for a reported £53.5m. Alchemi was appointed in 2015, describing the project as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

See what’s been happening over on nearby Cockspur Street here

Images: Adjaye Associates