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77 Grosvenor Street

LONDON

‘This is a scheme which really stands the test of time and is a testament to JWD’s design talent. The logical approach to the plan, coupled with the controlled use of natural materials in a rich variety of textures, has created a space that is a pleasure to return to. JWD took care to understand and develop the brief. They approached the design with ingenuity and imagination, successfully creating both the required sense of arrival and the journey through the space.’

Jeremy Titchen, former Development Director, Grosvenor Ltd

JWD created the entrance and reception of this 55,000 sq ft prestigious new office building in Mayfair, completed in 2005. It was, and still is, regarded as one of London’s prime office developments. Grosvenor Ltd appointed JWD when the building scheme was still at an early design stage. The given space was single height and relatively narrow and deep, requiring a long journey from the pavement to the lifts at the rear. JWD divided it into three parts defined by contrasting finishes, siting necessary doors to meeting rooms in recesses between.

The entrance lobby creates a dramatic first impression on Grosvenor Street with backlit glass panels setting off large decorative bronze gates. These beautifully-crafted objects by Shelagh Wakely were commissioned as public art. The first interior space has a rugged, exterior quality and includes a lobby and cambered bridge, flanked by walls of Musselkirk stone briquettes laid in a random pattern to give the appearance of monolithic rock faces. The bridge appears freestanding and the ceiling is cut away, allowing concealed lighting to wash over the rough wall surfaces from below and above, emphasising their heavy texture. By contrast, the second space is rich and refined, suggesting interior arrival, luxury and warmth. Lined with panels of dark brown Growthie leather, it contains the glass and copper mesh reception desk and tenants’ directory. In the third part, the lift lobby and seating area, JWD returns to the light stony palette of zone one. Here daylight is maximised as it enters from above, illuminating a double-height wall to the basement, clad in rough-hewn Musselkirk as a visual link to the entrance.

The subtle floor design uses two beds of the same limestone to describe a long curve that eventually leads to the lifts and an oblique ellipse which anchors the seating group. Key features of the scheme are the elliptical ceiling recess and the offset glass and copper mesh screen at the rear. These are visible from the street and provide glowing elements designed to draw people through the long reception to their destination.