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Berwick Street

Project: Berwick Street

Project facts

Client: Shaftesbury Capital PLC
Date: Completed 2023
Location: London, Soho

Project description

Berwick Street is home to one of London’s oldest and most famous markets. Known for fabric and record shops as well as for introducing olive oil, tomatoes and pineapples to London, the street represents everything that we love about Soho.

We were asked by Shaftesbury Capital to extensively refurbish and extend a pair of Grade II listed townhouses. Internally the two buildings had been poorly altered over the years, with layer upon layer of finishes creating a bland and sterile series of spaces.

The brief challenged us to remove the false ceilings and boxed-out areas and restore the original beauty of the buildings, as well as extend them at rear, maximising the ground and first floor plates- tricky on a tight site.

The project adds a roof terrace, rear extension and glazed infill to the buildings. Internally, all non-original finishes are removed, existing floorboards refurbished, original features restored and new recycled materials added. This project is a reflection of our RE:LOW principles.

A feature of all our projects with Shaftesbury is the use of new and sustainable materials. Here we have used Honext, a board made from waste paper and cardboard. This is one of the first projects in the UK to use Honext in this commercial context.

The rear extension is finished in a rough and smooth natural clay plaster which is recyclable, repairable and compostable. Both the Honext boards and clay plaster create a warm and textured finish.

The ground floor retail unit had a dark and rubbish-filled external courtyard at the rear. Here we have enclosed the space by adding a glazed rooflight and have left the existing brickwork exposed. We are pleased that a suit tailor has moved into the ground floor unit, strengthening the rich association with the fashion and textile industry.

Project images

46 and 47 Berwick Street are considered by Westminster Council to be 2 of the most important and intact Georgian Townhouses in Soho. We also designed the shop front of 45 (in black) which opens to the street.
45, 46 & 47 Berwick Street Elevation
New panelling referencing the original Georgian is made from Honext, creating an elegant proportion and rhythm.
Full height Honext panelling is featured in the front room of the first floor.
Detail of the routed Honext panelling.
Interior doors were replaced with Georgian panelled doors with brass ironmongery and hinges.
The first floor features original dado rails, skirting, cornicing and fireplace.
46 Berwick St, Section AA
46 Berwick St, Section BB
The kitchen has a natural clay plaster wall finish in two subtly different textures. A new rooflight with exposed joists was inserted.
The material palette is neutral and is tonally similar to the off-white colour scheme in the main building.
A new rear courtyard with glazed roof ensures a clear separation of the main building and courtyard with a light touch.
Existing masonry walls have been left exposed, repointed and cleaned retaining the character and original qualities of the site.
Detailed First Floor Plan of 46 & 47 Berwick Street