News 08.07.2022

The Kensington Building completes

The Kensington Building has reached practical completion.

Positioned in a prominent location on the corner of Kensington High Street and Wrights Lane, adjacent to High Street Kensington London Underground station, the Kensington Building by architects Pilbrow and Partners sympathetically remodels the former 1970s Pontings department store into an exemplar commercial hub comprising flexible office space, ground floor retail spaces set within a new arcade and 12,329 sq ft of accessible outdoor terraces designed by Gillespies.

The proposals for client AshbyCapital also include enhancements to the public realm along Kensington High Street and Wrights Lane, improving permeability and connectivity to Kensington High Street Underground station while anchoring the development within its high-profile setting. The public realm improvements include new high-quality paving, raised linear planters and the planting of a single mature Quercus palustris tree that will provide a focal point of interest for visitors entering at the primary entrance to the arcade.

The primary focus of the scheme is a series of roof gardens on the third, fourth and fifth floors. The terraces offer green, calming spaces for the building’s occupants, extending the internal floorplates to cater for outdoor meetings and gatherings, as well as providing opportunities for access to fresh air, sunlight and planting, which is proven to improve well-being, creativity and productivity.

The planters have been carefully positioned to create zones for varying activities, from smaller, more intimate spaces for meetings to a larger paved area with wrap-around seating on the fifth floor for gatherings and entertaining. The terraces are characterised and unified by a distinctive planting design language that is echoed across all three terraces, yet with subtle variations. Bold, sweeping lines of clipped hedges and raised planters filled with informal grasses soften the architecture, providing seasonal interest while establishing a strong relationship with the architecture. The planting complements the restrained hard material palette with a rich pattern of textures and shades of green for visual interest.

In the southwest corner of the building, a lightweight extensive sedum roof will help filter harmful compounds and provide new habitats, boosting biodiversity in this part of the City.

Gillespies is delivering public realm design and landscape design for the scheme, working alongside Pilbrow & Partners, Ramboll, Avison Young & ISG Construction.

Drone images courtesy of Syfly and AshbyCapital.

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The Kensington Building