Morris & Company’s plans to beautify one of the earliest office buildings in the Paddington Central development were approved by the Council of Westminster.
The office will add a series of leafy balconies to 3 Sheldon Square, a glass and steel building designed by Sidell Gibson in 2001.
The proposals for British Land envisage an outer steel structure consisting of nine balcony levels that are added to the front elevation.
The lightweight construction, which is suspended from the cantilevered cantilever girders from the 18,000 m² building roof, offers 542 m² of outdoor terrace area and almost 80 m² of vegetation.
Morris & Co said the “bold and playful” retrofit, which will be a bright red-oxide color, is intended as a deliberate contrast to the gray and green palette of the existing building.
The practice said the herbaceous plants and shrubs tumbling down from each level add “texture, movement, shape and color” to the building’s facade and improve visibility in and out of the office.
It added that the greening will help regulate temperatures in the building, which is currently suffering from excessive solar gain in summer and heat loss in winter.
Each balcony is prefabricated and assembled in sections, while the steel frames, concrete floor slabs and shaft walls of the building remain untouched. Construction work on site is scheduled to begin next autumn and be completed by the third quarter of 2023.
Morris & Co founding director Joe Morris said office workers are increasingly seeking a closer connection with nature in the workplace.
“A lot has changed in the way we think about and design workplaces in the last decade,” he said.
“With the climate crisis, global pandemic, changing work patterns and increased awareness of the psychological strain on our lives in the workplace, the era of the airless office with a focus on efficiency versus the user experience has been replaced with an era in which the desire for now there is a closeness to nature. “
He added that 3 Sheldon Square represents a “typology breaking approach” in which the value of the existing building is understood but enhanced to provide more passive energy use and more amenities.
British Land Development Director Nigel Webb said the project will transform 3 Sheldon Square into an “ideal place to work”, adding that the building will become a model project for the developer’s 2030 sustainability strategy.
Paddington Central has undergone renovations in recent years with British Land’s 10-story 4 Kingdom Street designed by Allies & Morrison and completed in 2017 and the Brunel Building by Fletcher Priest in 2019.