Land Securities signs star architect to design Lord Chancellor’s HQ

Star architect Cesar Pelli has been signed up by Land Securities to design a building for the site of the Lord Chancellor’s headquarters in Victoria, central London.

The practice, now called Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, beat off competition from a host of designers to land the scheme at Selborne House on Victoria Street.

Mike Hussey, development director at Land Securities, said it was part of a masterplan by Allies and Morrison, not part of the £1.5bn Victoria Transport Interchange by KPF. He said: “We’re developing proposals for that site in isolation but with the possibility that it will, at a later date, form part of a larger plan.”

He added that the architect was preparing proposals with the wider development in mind and that there might be a later phase next to the site. He also said Pelli would not necessarily design a tall building.

The site, a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament, is occupied by the Department of Constitutional Affairs. The lease expires in 2009.

Selborne House forms part of a potential prime development parcel in Westminster, which also includes Kingsgate House, presently occupied by the DTI, as well as Westminster council’s City Hall. Hussey said the project would go in for planning in the next six months.

Land Securities is working up a 2 million ft2 masterplan to transform the area around Victoria station. Architects signed up to the £1.5bn scheme include Kohn Pedersen Fox, Wilkinson Eyre, Benson + Forsythe and relative newcomer Lynch Architects.