The regeneration of Whiteleys represents a truly unique opportunity to transform an entire neighbourhood in the heart of London. An important landmark building located in Bayswater, on Queensway, the new retrofit development seeks to bring much needed improvements to the neighbourhood and its residents, as well as contribute to the unique vitality and diversity of the area as a whole.
The Grade II listed retail building was originally designed by John Belcher and John James Joass, with the first phase completed in 1911. Following the death of Belcher, the second phase of building was carried out by William Curtis Green in 1925. Subsequently, decades of incremental repairs and changes further marred the clarity of the early 20thCentury original. The Foster + Partners scheme restores and builds on the logic and intent of Belcher and Joass’ scheme by creating a diverse retail and leisure experience that faces out toward the street, animating and activating the public realm to create a new destination. It also optimises the massing and programme of the new building, introducing residential apartments on the upper floors and a new public courtyard on the ground that draws natural light and people into the building. Respecting the historic fabric, the scheme restores the Queensway façade to its former glory, with a new retail arcade, glazing infills on the upper floors to match the original, as well as a remodelled cupola on the northern corner that balances the composition of the entire façade.
A vibrant mixed-use development, the new design incorporates a wide range of functions – retail, restaurants, leisure, hotel and residential – to ensure that the building responds to the needs of residents and visitors alike. The creation of a significant new public courtyard that not only adds considerable area of public realm but also acts to underpin The Whiteley as the heart of the local neighbourhood.
The project targets a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’, demonstrating its exemplary standards of sustainable and inclusive urban design and architecture.