Susan Van Meter
London Pied á Terre
WORKING ON A LISTED BUILDING
It is quite often we work on listed buildings here in London.
One of our current projects is located just behind the Bank of England, which is an incredible area for stunning classical ‘old empire’ architecture and steeped in history, as you can imagine. A Grade II * listed city of London Pied e Terre.
HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
7 Lothbury is a Grade II * listed building. It was built in 1866 by George Somers Clarke in the Venetian Gothic style.
It was originally built for the General Credit and Discount Company and then later occupied by the Overseas Bankers Club. Although it received Grade II* listed status in 1964, the building was under the ‘at risk’ list in 2005 before it was redeveloped.
The building was converted for residential use by the developer in 2007. Today it’s a collection of 11 private flats.
“Located in London's Square mile at the heart of the City Of London's financial district. Lothbury is located behind The Bank of England and sits next to St Margaret Lothbury a church rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren, and still serves as a parish church, as well as being the official church of five Livery Companies, two Ward Clubs and two Professional Institutes. It also has connections with many local finance houses, all of which hold special services each year.”
Grade II * listing means the building is of “special interest warranting
every effort to preserve it”
The entrance lobby and stairwells have been beautifully preserved, with detailed wooden carved panels and metalwork.
Unfortunately, the flat we are working on has little to no original internal architectural features. However, on two of the external/internal elevations, it does have the most amazing gothic-style windows. This original internal face of wall and windows are not to be touched - without prior consent from the City of London Planners. This means a listed building consent application needs to be submitted along with plans and any details specifying the intended works.
Even if we want to penetrate the internal face of the wall with a 13A socket, wall light, or section of the staircase, we need to apply for permission before the works are carried out.
The client inherited the furniture from the previous owners along with a raised first-floor platform they had installed without consent and blocked off a chunk of window in the process.
Of course, the new owners want to rectify this along with all approved City of London Listed Building consents.
To push back the platform from the face of the window, relocate the staircase in a different style, new flooring lighting, kitchens, and bathrooms.
As you can see from the photo the current configuration leaves much to be desired.
Initially, the client was set on a staircase that projected from one section of the platform into the main room made of glass and metal as this was what they had in their other home. It took many, many different layouts for the client to decide on where they wanted the staircase to be located. They finally decided on the rear wall where the lighting feature they inherited, is installed.
Of course, to ensure this works a structural engineer has to make sure the new platform can be supported.
VISUALISING THE SPACE
This is a fly-through we created for the client with temporary furniture placements to give an idea of the space.
We still have a lot of work to do to finalise the scheme. It is really important to fully understand and ‘get into the head’ of our clients so we can interpret and create a space tailored to them.
A piece to that puzzle is the finishes and colours they are drawn to. Renders help them actually see those selections, instead of trying to visualise by themselves. This saves both of us time and money in the long term, ensuring they get exactly what they're looking for.
A provisional render we had done of the kitchen area with the staircase in the originally desired location, but difficult to support without having obtrusive beams and posts.
These additional renders allowed us to realise we want to go in a different direction with some of the elements.
Stay tuned for more updates on this project as they come!