Google+ London Architecture Blog: Week 15/13 Feature #8 Battleship Building

Monday, 8 April 2013

Week 15/13 Feature #8 Battleship Building

The Battleship Building
Battleship Building
Architect: Bicknell and Hamilton (refurbished and converted into offices by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris)
Date Completed: 1969, 2001 (refurbishment)
Location: 179 Harrow Road, London, W2 6NB

The Battleship building was originally designed as a maintenance depot for British Rail by Bicknell and Hamilton Architects in 1969. The building is situated between the Westway (A40) and Harrow Road within a triangular shaped site where the two roads diverge at Paddington. The main frontage of the building faces onto a large roundabout above the Regent's Canal and then the building continues around the site in the streamline moderne style. The building was Grade II* listed in 1994.

A six storey spine tower forms the centre of the main building frontage and contains the lift and staircase. From here, the building steps down to the lower levels where it finishes with a curve following the original layout of the road. This continues underneath the Westway and leads to the entrance, a triple height atrium space, overlooked by office and administrative space. The upper floors above this are open plan and are naturally lit by the horizontal band windows.

The building is constructed from reinforced concrete and the exterior is clad in cream mosaic tiles originally from Japan. The windows run horizontally around the building and are framed by two bold black horizontal strips to the top and bottom. The windows were upgraded as part of the 2001 refurbishment but have kept their original appearance. The interior retains the original curved staircase and concrete finishes.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris were appointed in 2000 through a competition to oversee the refurbishment of the building. Monsoon Accessorize, the existing tenant required a new headquarters to merge their two offices located in Ladbroke Grove and Perivale. Monsoon vacated the building the 2008, moving to a new purpose built office in Notting Dale Village.

The building won the Royal Fine Arts Commission Trust Awards Building of the Year 2002.

Click here for more information on the refurbishment of the building (links to AHMM website)

Detail of the spiral staircase. Photograph courtesy Martin Turner via Flickr.
View from Harrow Road
Elevation detail
Window detail
Elevation detail
Top of the building from Kingdom Street
If you would like your photographs to feature on this blog, please add them to the Flickr group for consideration.


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