Located around the corner from Covent Garden, Mercer Walk is a mixed use redevelopment scheme completed in November 2016.
Including the refurbishment of a 19th century warehouse and the construction of 3 new buildings and a retail glass pavilion, Mercer Walk is arranged around a new piazza that links Mercer Street and Langley Street.. Residential tenants began moving into the £22m scheme approximately 12 months ago. In the time since Mercer Walk has received widespread industry recognition.
Towards the end of 2017, Mercer Walk was nominated for two WAF Awards and this success has continued into 2018 with the project shortlisted for a RICS London Award in the ‘Regeneration’ category.
One of the most significant elements of the scheme was the redevelopment of 13-14 Langley Street, an original 19th century Covent Garden warehouse. The result is a flagship retail store that is currently occupied by H&M. The visually arresting design includes three large, multi-story vertical glazed openings with arched brick reveals.
Rather than creating something in contrast to neighbouring buildings, Mercers Walk is simple and elegant in its design, blending into the surrounding with careful individual touches for each building. Each of the new build structures have been faced in different coloured bricks, including Dorking Red, Staffordshire Blue and Platinum White. The 3 new buildings are home to 24 residential apartments on the upper levels, with ground and basement levels used for retail and restaurant space. Each apartment boasts external space in the form of a recessed loggia.
The central piazza has been organised to make the most of the sun and natural light. A chequered paving pattern adds an element of fun to the scheme.
José Garrido, design team leader at Ian Ritchie Architects, said:
“We chose to articulate a ‘warehouse form’ for the new buildings, both as a reminder of the genius loci of the area, and to introduce a robust yet refined quality of detailing together with large splashes of colour – a characteristic evident in Covent Garden.
“All external walls are brick, with slate roofs, and yet each building has its own character and identity expressed through variations in brick colour, and the individual detailing of window openings, lintels, cills and reveals.
“The new buildings have vertical openings, reminiscent of the loading bays of the old warehouses in the area. These full height recesses in the brickwork façades create outdoor spaces, a loggia for each apartment to meet statutory amenity space without projecting balconies which would be alien to this conservation area. The splashes of colour are introduced through the innovative retractable cast aluminium screens that veil the balconies, and add an element of dynamic change to the façades.
“It was a very challenging area to work. The adjoining streets on either side of the development are 6 metres wide so in terms of construction it had to be well planned with Westminster City Council. The main contractor did a good job in liaising with the council whilst minimising disruption to the neighbours.
“From this job we’ve been asked to look at other work for the Mercers’ Company and that’s probably the best indicator that the client was happy with the work we did.”
To view more projects from Ian Ritchie Architects, please visit www.ianritchiearchitects.co.uk.