SPPARC is a renowned London based studio of architects, designers and thinkers. Our design philosophies are innovative, yet pragmatic with a fluid style.

A family office in Fitzrovia

Introduction

A four-storey, Grade II-listed residential building in the vibrant and eclectic Charlotte Street Conservation Area in Fitzrovia. The basement, ground and first floors – refurbished in the 1990s – featured outmoded and inefficient office space as well as a bulky rear extension, while the second and third floors were significantly reworked by previous owners into a single residential dwelling. This latter project was undertaken without planning, listed building or building control approval, resulting in considerable harm to the existing fabric and failure to meet building regulations.

Define

SPPARC’s proposals reimagine the building as a first-class workplace for a family office, in a lovingly restored listed building that can once again make a meaningful architectural, cultural and economic contribution to the area. Internally, we will sensitively reinstate as much of the historic plan form of the property as possible, with special attention paid to repairing the damage to the second and third floors caused by unauthorised works. A lowered window sill on the half-landing between the ground and first floors creates seamless access to a charming roof terrace created by a new extension that replaces the existing one. This new structure, built with warm-toned timber beams, is lower and less obtrusive and features a perimeter planting screen to create a sense of peaceful, green enclosure.

Reflecting the generosity of the family ethos, the lower ground level will house a charity dedicated to ending poverty and inequality in the London Borough of Camden. A hexagonal lightwell to the rear extension draws down plentiful light, while a bike store encourages smart commuting. The family’s own charitable arm, occupies the second floor, while the remaining floors are dedicated to family office use.

In keeping with the focus on celebrating historic features – and with the fact that the occupants are a family enterprise – the interiors emphasise a welcoming domesticity. On the first floor, for instance, a reinstated stone floor to the hallway complements the materiality of the original stair, while the modern, open-plan kitchen leading onto the roof terrace supports circulation and socialising. The concept maintains Victorian and Georgian architectural features, such as wall panelling and plaster mouldings, whilst incorporating contemporary elements including furniture, joinery, lighting and wall colour, for a coherent eclectic mix throughout.

Once complete, the new headquarters will not only bring to life the spirit of the historic building, but also enable the legacy of the family, and the wellbeing of the local community to flourish.