A refurbishment and extension of Commonwealth House at No 1 New Oxford Street, a familiar mid-town London landmark. The nine storey prow clock tower of the 1939 building is an unmistakable feature on the corner of New Oxford Street and High Holborn.
Originally designed by architect and planner Henry Philip Cart De Lafontaine as an ‘ultra-modern building of imposing appearance’ the refurbished building will provide 12,250 sqft of retail and 95,000 sqft Grade A office space for client TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate), and position the seventy five year old Grand Dame for a new generation of office occupiers.
Orms imaginative transformation will make Commonwealth House as distinctive and stylish as first envisaged by LaFontaine.
Externally, the prominent ‘prow’ and the oriel windows will be clad in the hexagonal green tiles originally proposed by Lafontaine, but not permitted by Giles Gilbert Scott who was the advisor to the Crown and who considered the tiles ‘an innovation’. All the ground floor retail units will be replaced by shop fronts informed by the Art Moderne period of the building’s creation.