Two architecture students from Nottingham Trent comment on the new £7.5m London scheme

About the scheme

This is Make Architects’ £7.5m brass-clad luxury residential and office development on Weymouth Street in central London, designed for clients Ridgeford Properties and Howard DeWalden Estate. The extension to the existing sixties building, built by Sisk, comprises eight new apartments and four penthouses. The 17 existing apartments have been refurbished.

The rear elevation is clad in raw milled brass, which patinates naturally, eliminating the need for an artificial finish.To meet renewable energy requirements a ground source heat pump system has been integrated within the new service installation.

Pradumn Pamidighantam’s verdict

Make Architects has started to make itself heard over the past few years, and increasingly has done so with award winning designs.

The practice won the contract to design 10 Weymouth Street early on with client Ridgeford wanting a level of sophistication and quality that it felt no other practice could offer. Make’s proposal to create a luxury residential and office development is an interesting one.

To the outsider, the exterior of the building has been preserved quite nicely as it once was, fitting-in with the context. However, elevate your gaze to the skies and you will find a rich glow emanating from the top of the building.

Make has been very careful in what they show, where they give a glimpse of this new development, unveiling a storey of this glowing brass creature to capital city.

The real show, however, happens on the other side of the building, where the practice starts to take advantage of some freedom and creates an interesting articulation of these protruding pods that offer a view for the residents from these brass patternated balconies.

The choice to use brass does distinctly show what part of the building is new and what is existing. I am quite pleased to see some playfulness of the form and the braveness to use such a material like brass. The material itself will naturally age and like other materials such as copper, will produce a classical touch to a modern rein-visioning.

Clarissa Wenborn’s verdict

Make Architects’ residential and office development boasts an eye catching and luxurious façade design, which despite its unusual nature, appears to fit surprisingly well into its urban surroundings. The brass cladding suits the colours of its context; a match that combined with the oxidizing properties of the metal will only greaten in time to suit the more weathered appearance of the other buildings.

The complex patterns and shapes of the building although more luxurious than its counterparts seem to integrate well within the complex and detailed urban setting, providing a pleasant uplift to its more dated surroundings.