AFR leads extreme makeover for 1970s London office

Architecture firm Aukett Fitzroy Robinson (AFR) led the transformation of a jaded 1970s office block in London into a contemporary complex, covering 18,580m2

The redevelopment of Land Securities’ 123 Victoria Street involved the remodelling of the cores, introduction of an atrium, provision of two new larger receptions and maximising the use of natural light.

Together with a sister building, the complex flanks a new piazza for Westminster cathedral.

Luke Schuberth, managing director at Aukett Fitzroy Robinson stated: “Throughout the design stages AFR were keen to create a quality, modern and efficient landmark development, but at all times respecting the original acclaimed design of E H Elsom.

He continued: “123 Victoria Street has now been brought back to life as an iconic place to work, complementing the neighbouring Victoria area and significantly upgrading the immediate surroundings.”

The previous external façade dominated the surroundings, with dark brown tinted glazed bays and heavy architectural features.

AFR’s designs include the complete replacement of all the glazing, with new high-performance units that complement the style of the original fenestration, delivering a reflective brighter façade and provide significantly improved thermal and acoustic insulation.

At street level, the ground floor envelope has been completely replaced giving the building a fresh interaction with its immediate surroundings.

Careful material selection, lighting and the full redesign of the retail arcade improves the previously uncoordinated and rundown retail offering, further enhancing Victoria as a retail destination.

AFR’s roof design draws inspiration form the linearity of the building, using timber decks, linear planters and pebbled terraces as part of a playful and ingenious redesign of the many elevated terraces.

Internally, the architect’s approach creates a new Grade A office space, with the building being stripped out to provide increased ceiling heights, improved natural lighting.

AFR worked closely with architects MoreySmith to deliver reconfigured reception areas.

This redevelopment improves the efficiency and long-term sustainability of the building, as well as rationalising of the service cores and replacement of all plant and machinery.