Architecture of the Smithsons celebrated with renovation of their Brutalist Economist landmark

Developer Tishman Speyer and architects DSDHA have completed the first phase renovation of famous Alison and Peter Smithson’s Economist Building and Plaza on London’s St James’s Street.

The Brutalist Grade II*-listed complex, completed in 1964, was originally commissioned by the Economist magazine, which had its offices there for more than half a century.

The buildings are now being upgraded, with new public amenities added. As part of the first phase, the main square has been reinvigorated and rebranded as Smithson Plaza to celebrate the acclaimed architectural duo.

Deborah Saunt, founding director of DSDHA, said: "Having considered the impact of incremental changes since 1964, we have assessed what might be preserved and what can be changed. We have developed a phased restoration framework to create sustainable, flexible and contemporary workspaces whilst preserving public amenity."

A public art programme has been re-introduced to the plaza and will begin with a dramatic installation by Swiss artist, Olaf Breuning, in collaboration with CASS Sculpture Foundation and Metro Pictures Gallery in New York.

At street level, 4,600sq ft retail space has been created, further connecting the complex with the public realm.

In ther own words
Tishman Speyer on the project

Recognised as a triumph of post-war architecture, the scheme’s significance is founded on its urban contribution, as much as that of the individual buildings. The three buildings arranged around a raised plaza comprise the 15-storey Smithson Tower (formerly known as The Economist Tower), the five storey Bank Building and eight storey Residential Building.

Following the acquisition of the estate in 2016, Tishman Speyer appointed London-based architects DSDHA with the strategic brief to safeguard the future of the estate through considered investment in the buildings and their public realm, enhancing their historic significance and longevity, while delivering best-in-class and environmentally sustainable accommodation. The proposal received support from 20th Century Society and Historic England.

Six newly renovated upper floors, totalling approximately 22,000sq ft have been delivered as part of the first phase. Renovation works include new double-glazed windows, totally new services and lifts as well as state-of-the-art amenities for tenants. The Smithson Tower offers 360-degree, unobstructed panoramic views of the city and will be, upon delivery, the only refurbished office tower in St James’s.

“Our strategy was to reposition the Smithson Plaza as a best-in-class West End office destination while safeguarding its historical significance for future generations,” said Dan Nicholson, MD of Tishman Speyer UK.

Developer Tishman Speyer and architects DSDHA have completed the first phase renovation of famous Alison and Peter Smithson’s Economist Building and Plaza on London’s St James’s Street. The Brutalist Grade II*-listed complex, completed in 1964, was originally commissioned by the Economist magazine, which had its offices there for more than half a century. The buildings are now being upgraded, with new public amenities added. As part of the first phase,
CLD,ARC,DES
A public art programme has been re-introduced to the plaza and will begin with an installation by Swiss artist, Olaf Breuning
/ David Parry
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7582     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7582     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Blu Spas, Inc.
Blu is a full-service firm offering consulting, advisory and operating solutions.
videos
BluGalaxy a Division of Blu Spas
Blu Spas
This animation showcases the beautiful concept design of BluGalaxy Spa.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The transparent structure is defined by delicate columns, offering views inside and out
Alexander Schwarz
"Our aim was to create a place celebrating public space and accessibility"

The opening of the James-Simon- Galerie on Berlin’s Museum Island completes two decades of work for David Chipperfield Architects. The lead designer talks us through the building

Former track and field athlete Phillip Mills is the founder and CEO of Les Mills
"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The International Spy Museum is RSHP’s first cultural building in the US
Stephen Barrett (left) 
and John McElgunn (right) were both made partners at RSHP in 2016
"Leisure space – public space – is at the very root of democracy, and architecture is about democracy"

As RSHP completes its latest cultural project, we speak to two of its partners about why Richard Rogers isn’t leaving his succession to chance

Last word: Tina Norden
Tina Norden
"We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional"

Conran and Partners’ Tina Norden on playing with colour at Prague’s newly redesigned Hotel Maximilian

Marianne Shillingford
"The technology involved in paint is extraordinary"

Used cleverly, colour has the power to influence how people use the spaces they inhabit, says the creative director of Dulux

cladkit product news
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
ASPA International launches handheld UV-C light disinfection lamp
The compact plug-in product can be used easily in a commercial spa or domestic setting to disinfect surfaces with UV-C light
Megan Whitby
For over 30 years, ASPA International has designed and built high-quality spas for the hotel, health and wellness sectors. During ...
Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
The team combines lighting, video, sound and special effects, with scenic and architectural elements, to create unforgettable visual experiences
Megan Whitby
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, ...
cladkit product news
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
Matteo Thun grows Allaperto collection with new suspended outdoor armchair
Megan Whitby
Allaperto, the lounge collection spawned by the partnership between design studios, Matteo Thun, Ethimo and Antonio Rodriguez, has been expanded ...
Siminetti unveils first glimpses of Mother of Pearl decorative surfaces inspired by the four seasons
The new winter design is finished with naturally occurring hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes
Megan Whitby
Siminetti has collaborated with British designer Chrisanna London to create a luxury Mother of Pearl decorative surface range inspired by ...
cladkit product news
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
Atelier Alain Ellouz launches handcrafted precious stone lighting collection
LYRA has a sleek, cylindrical design complete with an elegant brass dimming switch
Megan Whitby
LYRA, GAMA, MONA and ATHENA are the first pieces from designer Atelier Alain Ellouz’s new.édition collection of handcrafted stone lighting ...
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates