25 Savile Row RIBA London Award 2018
Since 2000, 25 Savile Row – a 1930s art deco building – has been the Mayfair home of design-led property company Derwent London. Nearly 15 years later, a decision was taken in 2014 to reconfigure and refurbish the building in two phases. Led by architects Piercy&Company, this choice was recently vindicated when 25 Savile Row was recognised with a RIBA National Award and a RIBA London Award.
Piercy&Company was commissioned for the refurbishment of the whole building as well as for the fit-out of Derwent London’s new offices. With a brief to express the company’s ethos throughout, Piercy&Company worked collaboratively with Derwent London on everything from the larger architectural interventions through to the design of furniture and the smallest details of door handles, handrails and lighting.
Spread over three floors in an L-shaped building, the offices include a dedicated street level entrance, reception and exhibition area, meeting rooms, break-out spaces, open plan offices, terraces and staff eating areas. Additional space in the building was created by adding a winter garden – a glazed extension to the rear of the building at first floor level housing informal meeting and break-out space – and external terraces off the ground and second floor, providing informal outdoor space for employees.
One of the most significant additions to the space is the suspension of a sculptural stair. Highly engineered and delicate, the stair was created by the cutting of a three-storey atrium through the floor slabs. The stair has opened the space up and connects what once were isolated floors and departments with an easy and inviting journey.
By moving to the ground floor, Derwent London was also able to acquire its own dedicated entrance and streetscape presence. Bespoke bronze and glass doors, manufactured by Capoferri and designed by Piercy&Company, feature a large grid with the same proportions as the original Art Deco window panes.
25 Savile Row is also home to a number of internal collaborations with some of Britain’s leading makers. Piercy&Company collaborated with Benchmark to design a range of inbuilt and free-standing furniture, upholstered with leather from Bill Amberg Studio. The furniture, in rich dark brown leather and oak, are inspired by the Art Deco architecture of the building.
The office floors have a predominantly open layout with break-out spaces and quiet working areas so employees have working flexibility for different tasks. Careful consideration was given to making sure as much daylight as possible was visible and floor to ceiling height was maximised. Knight Harwood acted as the main contractor and the building has received a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating.
Stuart Piercy, Piercy&Company Director, said:
“25 Savile Row is about finding elegance in the relationship of simple forms and natural materials. The Japanese have a brilliant word for this ‘shibui’ which refers to a particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty.”
Simon Silver, Derwent London Director, added:
“Derwent’s special focus is demonstrating how design makes a difference so it seemed fitting to apply this to the re-design of our own offices. In the process, Piercy&Company have created not only a beautifully crafted environment, but we have also been able to integrate our teams to enhance our collaborative way of working. The outcome has delighted us all.”
To document work on the project, Piercy&Company and Derwent London commissioned photographer and filmmaker Nick Ballón to make a short film. ‘Making 25 Savile Row’ follows the journey of the project’s key materials, from workshop to site, and captures the people and processes behind the architecture.
Piercy&Company has worked with Derwent for more than a decade on projects such as the award-winning Turnmill in Farringdon and the recently completed Copyright Building in Fitzrovia.