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5 Howick Place

LONDON

Winner of UK Property Awards 2013

Howick Place is a new landmark office scheme at the heart of Victoria’s fast expanding cultural quarter. Completed in 2012, it is now home to Giorgio Armani’s UK headquarters. At an early stage of the building design, developers, Terrace Hill and Doughty Hanson, approached JWD to design the reception, a large corner space with double-height exterior visibility on two sides.

JWD’s scheme responds sensitively to the surrounding streetscape and creates a crisp, modern interior that is, at the same time, warm, welcoming and rich in detail. The colours and textures of the adjacent listed buildings - earthy red brick and dark grey exterior frames - are combined with white to give a striking interior palette. Discrete lighting at the junction of ceiling and wall defines the double-height cubed volume and creates a dramatic effect at night.

The front space is high and full of natural light. JWD achieves visual balance by providing the single-height rear space with a strong focal wall and concealed lighting suggesting a wash of natural light from above. Texture plays an important role. Within a polished interior of lacquer and porcelain, JWD introduces contrasting walls of matt black-brown and tan to zone the seating, reception desk and lifts. Leather is bound around curved formers giving deep horizontal modelling. Reconstituted, sustainable veneer, the colour of ebony, is laid horizontally and detailed with mirror-polished stainless steel. Contrast is key. The white desk with dark veneered fascia is set off against the tan wall of lacquer and leather. A vivid orange upstand injects a note of vibrant colour.