Shortlisted for Building Project of the Year: This former haven for convicts and leper is now a breath of fresh air in central London

Central St Giles, London submitted by Bovis Lend Lease

Renzo Piano’s first built UK project breathes life into a forgotten part of central London. Frequented by convicts and lepers in the Middle Ages, St Giles is now home to one of the largest and most desirable mixed-use developments in the West End. Sheathed in psychedelic polychrome and glistening terracotta, the commercial and residential blocks cast a whimsical and cinematic sheen over the greyish-brown pallor of their surrounding urban streetscape. But its crowning glory is its contribution to public realm, climactically realised by the pivotal new public space at the heart of the development. From here, full-height low-ion glazing thrusts generous views deep into the building and out again into the surrounding streets, creating dramatic new urban vistas and masterfully anchoring the scheme into its local fabric. Central St Giles achieves a superlative synthesis between architecture and public space and is a fluent exercise in strategic urban renewal.  

Project team

Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop;
Executive architect: Fletcher Priest;
Residential architect: PRP;
Structural, mechanical and electrical engineer: Arup;
Cost consultant: Davis Langdon;
Planning supervisor, construction manager: Bovis Lend Lease;
Planning consultant: Moseley & Webb;
Demolition: Keltbray;
Development manager: Stanhope;
Investor/developer: Legal & General Investment Management;
Facade subcontractor: Schneider Facades;
Ceramic cladding: NBK.

Each day in the lead up to the Building Awards ceremony next month, we will profile one of the finalists in the Project of the Year and Public Building Project of the Year. The winners will be announced as the Building Awards ceremony taking place on April 7. To book a table at the Building Awards visit the web site here.