Silver Building

DSDHA were appointed to prepare development proposals for 40 Beak Street located in the Soho conservation area after previous architects met an impasse with the planning authority. The existing building, which was built in 1909 – 1910, was locally listed and had originally been as a section house for unmarried police officers. 

In order to persuade Westminster that its demolition might be possible it was imperative that the design quality of our proposals was sufficiently high and its sustainable performance of an exemplary standard. DSDHA worked in collaboration with the artist, Edmund De Waal to develop the identity and ceramic finish of the facade. 

Responding to the lost history of Beak St, which was the horizontal and vertical proportions of the street and surrounding Soho area the project sensitively remodels the corner site with a modern intervention. Clad in silver-glazed tiles, the building features an internal vertical garden providing environmental cooling and visual amenity to the street through a large opening in the façade positioned across the green wall. The proposal for a five-storey building with office and residential use was given planning consent in June 2008. 

In the end, the project as conversation – an on-going conversation about duration in the city: a recognition of the combined dynamic and kinetic effect created between things, and simultaneously a feeling of gravity and memory, binding us to the more persistent aspects of physical objects and architectures.

The Silver Building was selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2008.

Structure Engineer: Price & Myers
Services Engineer: Max Fordham
Cost Consultant: Rex Procter
Planning Consultant: Turley Associates

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