61 Oxford Street

London. 2015

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 2015
  • Clients: Dukelease Properties and BA Pensions Trust

61 Oxford Street aims to harmonise the disparate architectural styles that currently characterise east Oxford Street by carefully replacing some local buildings of note with a prominent corner beacon. With its focus on glass – the surface of choice for retailers – the scheme hones in on the area’s one and only shared material quality, and, in undulating that glass, nods to the history of London’s special glazed shopfronts. An eight-storey volume is articulated with a hierarchy of curved ‘oriel’ or bay windows to unify ground and upper floors and establish the building’s place both on the street and in the sky. The ‘wave length’ of the vertical undulation shortens at the upper levels and combines with horizontal banding to distinguish the retail (the four lower levels, including lower-ground) from the office (the two middle levels) and residential (the upper two levels). Views, amenity and daylight are maximised for office and residential occupants through set-backs, external terraces and internal planning.


RIBA London Region Award 2016 RIBA National Award 2016


Ribbons of glass, articulated to vary across different uses


Retail glazing & oriel windows

From the Burlington Arcade to Heals via Simpsons of Piccadilly, London’s shops have deployed innovations in glass production to define more luxurious and flamboyant retail architecture. Following this tradition, 61 Oxford Street uses curved glass, divided into bays of oriel windows, to define the full façade for a mixed use building. Within this glass container (analogous to an Aalto vase) is a layered sandwich of different uses, which in turn inform the façade. Double height shopfront windows subdivide into narrower oriel bays to offices above, and then reduce again to more domestically scaled windows for the apartments at upper levels.

Non-reflecting window - Simpson's, Picadilly, vase by Alvar Aalto


Oxford Street & shopping palaces

Oxford Street offers London a fabulous collage of architectural styles, with buildings of all eras displaying their wares from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road. It is a district in its own right, and has long encouraged a series of flamboyant architectural set pieces. The buildings of Oxford Street east have long been the more modest relatives of the big department stores west of the Circus, but with Crossrail soon to arrive at Tottenham Road, the east end of the street is changing. 61 Oxford Street provides a new architectural event in the long evolution of the street, and leads the way for ongoing change and improvement.

Facade detail Oxford Street,  canopy detail, Selfridges regents street


Scale shifts & a special corner

Changing modules express the different uses of the building and create an elegant system of visual interest and interplay of light and shade, transparency and reflection. The undulating façade follows a rhythm of indents towards the corner of Oxford Street and Soho Street to further refine the street line. A Victorian masonry corner - an architectural landmark - has been reimagined and replaced with a bespoke glass ‘lantern’, while a rippling glazed canopy defines and articulates the new shop at street level below.
















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