ECA achieved planning permission for the conversion and extensions to this prominent former office building in South West London.
The site contains an existing 1970s server centre built by IBM. Working with the existing superstructure, which is well built with large openings and excellent floor-to-ceiling heights, the architecture team created modest extensions to transform the building for contemporary living. Design features include a series of framed roof gardens and the removal of ground floor car parking to create shared sunken gardens. The scheme is about adaption and re-use, combined with a simple striking solution to give energy and focus to this neglected site.
In 2012 the Government introduced changes to the planning system allowing the conversion of office buildings to residential without the need for planning permission, through an alternative ‘Prior Approval’ application process. The ECA planning team negotiated with Spelthorne Planning Department to get the employment designation on the site lifted. We demonstrated that the scheme delivered significant regeneration benefits which overruled the need for affordable housing.