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Located on Tottenham Court Road, The Heal’s Building is one of London’s most iconic landmarks and was originally built to house Heal & Sons flagship store. The Grade II* listed building is now home to a variety of creative led businesses as well as number of lettable offices. As these spaces sit within such a high-profile building, landlord Columbia Threadneedle Investments, working alongside agents Workman, wanted to make sure they offered the highest standard of amenities.
‘The Heals Building is steeped in history. Creating and updating the basement amenity spaces required us to work within the specific confines and restrictions of a listed building while producing a scheme that new and existing tenants would both use and enjoy as part of their day-to-day lives.’
For landlords, simply offering an office space in a desirable location is no longer enough. Workplaces need to include wider, high-quality amenities that centre around the wants and needs of the building users. With many businesses making the return to workplace, the opportunity arose for Columbia Threadneedle Investments to upgrade the basement of the building into an area that not only is environmentally conscious, but also offers a range of benefits.
When Peldon Rose started the project, the basement was not being utilised correctly, and for the landlord didn’t provide any benefit to the offices above. The tired and run-down space needed a fresh approach.
Within the basement sat an unused car lift. Seeing an opportunity, our landlord team reconfigured the space in a way that adds value. Working around the steel structure within the original lift, Peldon Rose created a mezzanine level housing 100 lockers and a drying room for those who choose a more active commute. Unmovable steel elements of the structure are cleverly hidden, visually enhancing the appearance of the space.
This element of the design was not without its challenges, and as The Heal’s Building is Grade II* listed, the team had to reassess how best to approach the restructuring of the space and in particular the car lift, ensuring that the works carried out were sensitive to the listing. The transformation of the car lift structurally has seen the creation of a new ceiling with an access hatch to the communications room. The hatch itself is large enough to ensure that every piece comms equipment and machinery can fit through should it need to be moved.
For many businesses inclusivity is key when it comes to selecting an office space. Recognising this need, inclusive showers and super loos have been located next to the locker space. These changing facilities feature high-end joinery finishes and top of the range products such as hairdryers and straighteners.
As a key element of the brief, the car park is now a space that encourages the use of electric vehicles through the installation of electric car and bike chargers. With an increase in people opting to go electric or hybrid with their choice of car, as well as the novelty of an office car park in central London, this will help attract those businesses who are looking to reduce their environmental impact. Furthermore, a bike servicing area adds additional value to the space encouraging an active commute, whilst promoting the wellbeing of the building’s users.
Kevin Wither, Head of Landlord added: ‘The way this space had been used over the years had changed a number of times and is home to the plant holding area and building facilities. We were asked to not only upgrade the offering that had been installed a few years previously but importantly to bring it up to current requirements and the team did a fantastic job. To bring to life an area within a redundant car lift pit is a credit to the design thinking of the team and the feedback from the client and their professional team post completion has been great. The ability to ensure that all the services are housed and accessible, whilst still creating a luxurious amount of space represent a great success to the whole team.’