101 on Cleveland replaces a rundown building in the heart of Fitzrovia with a new contextually-designed development of 103 new homes for Art-Invest Real Estate, Dukelease and ECE.
The three buildings respond to local character, built rhythm and architectural detailing and are linked by landscaped gardens at first floor and 35,000 sq ft of commercial space at ground.
The 0.44 ha triangular island site – created by the intersection of two opposing historic urban grids that make up Marylebone and Fitzrovia – is surrounded by streets on all three sides and sits within a context that comprises a diverse mix of buildings, uses, architectural styles and character areas, including Fitzroy Square Conservation Area.
The original two-storey building accommodated a number of redundant uses, including a petrol station, it lacked any architectural merit, and its massing and façade treatment were anomalies within the surrounding built context.
The opportunity therefore arose to design a new building more inspired by the eclectic character and architectural detailing of the local urban area.
Working with the contextual analysis, a series of key design principles were established:
- Utilise the triangular footprint to maximise the active building frontage along all three bounding streets
- Height steps up from north to south along Cleveland Street to reflect the surrounding built form
- Strong corners at both ends of the ‘triangle’
- As the site is east-west orientated and over 100m long, breaking up the massing into three to enable sunlight permeability from Cleveland Street to Clipstone Mews whilst creating two landscaped gardens between the buildings
- Legible residential entrances located below the gardens
The resulting three-building approach follows Cleveland Street’s built rhythm, opens the site up to visual and sunlight permeability, and creates two landscaped gardens between the buildings.
The ten-storey building creates a statement on the southern corner, responds to the University along Clipstone Street and provides a termination point to the vista along Maple Street, whilst the four-storey buildings mirror those established over the years along Cleveland Street.
The dark brick takes cues from nearby buildings weathered over time, and accents of bronze and stone add modern interpretations of local details.
Improving the streetscape
As a triangular island site, a key consideration was to address and improve all three boundaries, particularly Clipstone Mews, which previously attracted anti-social behaviour.
The development introduces natural surveillance with glazing, residential entrances and commercial use at ground floor, and an improved and activated public realm, which includes new trees along the streets and public art at the building’s apex, to create a safer environment for the wider community.
The commercial space was designed as a mix of unit sizes, enabling the opportunity to sub-divide the spaces for multiple occupiers, ensuring flexibility and future-proofing. The ground and lower ground floors are now occupied by renowned fashion designer Ted Baker for use as their headquarters, workplace, social space and showrooms, the designs for which have been developed to ensure the active frontages are retained.
Residential use is maximised on the upper floors with a range of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including affordable homes managed by Octavia Housing, in order to cater for a wide range of residents, including professionals and families. Over 65% of the homes are dual-aspect, and all include open plan spaces, high ceilings, generous windows and private external space.
Residents also benefit from a range of boutique hotel-style amenities at lower ground floor, designed by Assael Interiors, and the two secluded landscaped gardens at first floor, designed by Assael Exteriors.