A brand new mixed-use development has landed in London's Soho and it promises to unite in one building the area's 'unique character of commerce and creativity', say the architects. Designed by Darling Associates (opens in new tab), Ampersand (opens in new tab) is the brainchild of property company Resolution (opens in new tab) and combines office and residential in its 66,400 sq ft of space.
The project was 'conceived as a creative collaboration between architect, artist, furniture designer, graphic designer and interior designer', explain the architects. The existing mixed-use building on site had to be extensively refurbished, in order to accommodate the 4 levels of office space and two penthouse floors of 10 apartments - the latter, due to complete by the end of the month, had to be carefully concealed from public view at street level, in order to adhere to local planning regulations. A sun terrace accompanies the office space.
The new grey ceramic, glass and concrete building features copper fins on its facade, while a glass-enclosed, light-filled reception was created at its southwest corner. Graphic designer Tom Hingston (opens in new tab) in collaboration with Darling Associates created the artwork behind the reception desk.
The building's centrepiece, however, is its four-storey high spiral oak staircase, designed by Paul Cocksedge (opens in new tab). Visible from all office floors through the internal courtyard's extensive undulating glazing, the stairway is generous and dramatic, planted with some 750 types of greens. The landings were designed to provide informal meeting and resting areas, cosily surrounded by the foliage. Targeting a BREEAM Very Good rating for sustainability, Ampersand aims to be as green as it looks.
Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).
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