The Mercers’ Company, a City of London Livery Company established by Royal Charter in 1394, commissioned KJ Tait Engineers to undertake the services design for a complex mixed-use development in Covent Garden. The £22M scheme was completed in November 2016.
The design enhances and complements the surrounding urban realm and was applauded as outstanding by Westminster City Council planning committee when permission was granted. Simple, elegant and beautifully detailed groups of individual buildings reflect the historic typology and architectural appeal of the area.
A new, contemporary central piazza forms the focal point of the development, accessed from both Langley Street and Mercer Street. The development is part of a new pedestrian route from Upper St Martins’ Lane to Neal Street, with the last link from Langley Street to Neal Street yet to be completed.
The refurbishment of 13-14 Langley Street, an original 19th Century Covent Garden warehouse, to create a new flagship retail store within visual reach of the busy Long Acre–Langley Street junction provides an architectural feature designed to draw pedestrians in from Long Acre. Brick bands on the retained east façade wrap onto the rebuilt south façade and determine the proportions of the three large, multi-story vertical and arched glazed openings whose detailing recalls the adjoining brewery buildings in Shelton Street.
The three new mixed-use buildings provide retail and restaurant space at Ground and Basement levels with 24 residential apartments on the upper floors. The North Building is formed around one central core. The South East and South West Buildings share a residential courtyard. A 4-storey cast aluminium screen marks the entrance to the courtyard and creates a visual link between the central piazza and Langley Street. Behind it the buildings are linked by covered walkways at each floor.
A common basement containing central CHP plant for all the restaurants, retail units and residential apartments, provides low carbon heat and power. The heat network was designed for future expansion to allow for extension to the adjacent blocks, also owned by the Mercers’ Company.
The Building was awarded a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ certification for its sustainable approach and achieved Code for Sustainable Homes level 04.
Following this successful project, KJ Tait have been commissioned across the Mercers’ Company Estate for a wide range of project types and sizes to continue the development and investment in the Mercers’ real estate holdings.