The Post Building transforms a Royal Mail sorting office on New Oxford Street in central London, bringing back into use a prominent site which has been derelict for over 20 years and reconnecting the building to the city with a new mix of office, retail, residential and community uses.
The lower half of the existing, generously-scaled frame is retained and a new core and a series of intermediate mezzanine levels inserted into the centre of its plan. Deep beams – the result of the large structural spans dictated by the building’s former use – are left exposed, lending a distinct industrial character to the new use as office floors.
The building’s top half is replaced, volumetrically configured to create a focal corner befitting the location at the intersection of five key London roads. The entire mass is clad with a system of frame, window and solid, employed varying depths and scales across the building to unite the existing structure while responding to both surrounding context and internal uses. The expression of junctions and connections between the fabricated, self-finished components of the cladding system gives a richness of detail that emphasises the factory language of the found.
In total, the mixed-use development accommodates eight floors of office uses and seven floors of residential (including 100% of the required affordable housing provision on site) above a variety of public uses including shops, cafés, galleries, and a GP surgery for the local community. The development also makes a significant contribution to the public realm by creating a new public space on Museum Street, reactivating the historic route of Dunn’s Passage, and providing a public roof terrace.