Renzo Piano set to embark on third high profile London project with major Oxford Street store extension

Architect Renzo Piano is on the verge of being appointed to design a major extension to Selfridges’ flagship store on Oxford Street.

Selfridges has revived a decade-old plan to extend the store on land behind the building, after shelving a £300m Fosters-designed scheme in 2003.

Building can also reveal that Stanhope, the scheme’s developer, is pressing ahead with another high profile central London project - 15-storey 70 Mark Lane. Sir Robert McAlpine has been appointed to build the Bennetts Associates-designed office scheme in the square mile.

But it is the Selfridges scheme - which will include a luxury hotel, as well as retail and office space - that is set to make the biggest impact.

The news raises the prospect of a third major London scheme for Piano, after the Shard and mixed-use Central St Giles in Soho.

Building understands that the Italian architect has seen off competition from fellow signature global practices OMA and Herzog & de Meuron.

All three architects are understood to have been shortlisted for the Selfridges job and were invited to present their final designs earlier this year.

It is thought the project could cost less than Foster’s original £300m scheme, with the final value partly dependent on the extent to which Selfridges refurbishes its existing store.

Selfridges’ initial plan for the extension first hit problems in 2002, after Westminster planners judged it “unacceptable”, citing opposition to the “height, bulk, visibility, detailed design and use of materials” - although it did win planning in the following year.

The extension plan was effectively shelved in 2003, as a number of billionaires jockeyed for ownership of the luxury retailer.

The eventual buyer - Canadian Galen Weston - withdrew the planning application for the scheme in 2004.

The original plan was for a 100,000 ft2 extension of the 500,000 ft2 store as well as 300,000 ft2 of offices and a hotel.

A source close to the 70 Mark Lane scheme, reported to be worth £100m, said construction was expected to begin “in the next few months”.

Stanhope, Selfridges and Renzo Piano were unavailable for comment.