A key area in central London will be reinvigorated if plans submitted by Make, on behalf of The Crown Estate, are approved. As one of The Crown Estate’s flagship sites, the St. James’s Market project entails the redevelopment of six buildings to the south of Piccadilly Circus bounded by Jermyn Street, Haymarket and Regent Street.
The site will be divided around significant public realm improvements that include a new public square. Two urban blocks will be created containing 50,000sq ft of retail and amenity space at ground level with 211,000 sq ft BREEAM Excellent commercial space above. Much of the newly configured site will be ‘traffic free’.
The design is sympathetic with the surrounding architecture and will retain the heritage façade of the Regent Street block as well as echo the materials and scale of the neighbouring buildings using a mixture of solid and curved stone, characteristic of the St. James’s Conservation area.
Jonathan Mitchell, project architect said: “Make is proud to have designed this flagship development for The Crown Estate, which will be the next major milestone in the St. James's investment strategy. The St. James’s Market project presents a unique opportunity to revitalise this hidden historic site in the heart of Westminster. We have worked very closely with English Heritage and Westminster Council for three years, together with The Crown Estate, to deliver designs that reflect their commitment to architectural excellence that enriches the character and quality of the area.”
Justin Nicholls, partner at Make said: “We created a holistic design for this commercial development that sympathetically integrates existing and new buildings and public realm with distinctive, yet sensitive architecture."
As the name suggests, St. James’s Market was originally the provisions market serving the houses of St. James’s. Following the construction of Regent Street, the site has been somewhat forgotten, being neither St. James’s nor Soho. The new development will return the site to its former identity, by serving the local population of St. James’s with amenity space and a public square.
Commenting on the proposals, Alastair Smart, Head of Development at The Crown Estate said: "St. James's Market is perhaps the most significant development we have ever undertaken and builds on the two schemes currently on site as part of our investment in St. James's and Regent Street to provide modern space for global businesses."
The Crown Estate's investment in St. James's builds on the area's status by providing a first rate amenity space for those living, working and visiting the area.