The redevelopment of the Grade 2 Listed Regent Palace Hotel retains the finest elements of the existing building – the three external corners and the Art Deco interiors by Oliver Bernard – and introduces new facades, retail and mixed uses on each of the three streets, to reinvigorate the Quadrant, a prime area off the lower end of Regent Street for The Crown Estate. Quadrant 3 occupies a whole city block. Located off the southern end of Regent Street, the site has particular obligations ‐ there is the contrast in scale between the buildings of Soho and Regent Street and there is the importance of creating lively street scenes and active pavements to consolidate the retail viability of the surrounding streets. The replacement of the hotel has enabled the creation of an urban block with a wide mixture of different uses.
New offices rub shoulders with residential and retail, whilst historic restaurants have their entrances at street level alongside a variety of shops. The streets have the vital ingredient that they are full of entrances, pavement activity and normal urban life that relates in a natural way to the surrounding Regent Street, Soho, and Piccadilly areas. Corners of the original faience clad hotel building have been kept. By retaining these corners, new and existing elevations are combined to reduce the apparent size of the large scale office intervention. This overcomes a common problem whereby large offices can dominate sensitive urban areas. Faience is re‐introduced into the new elevations using a variety of colours. By juxtaposing imperfect and perfect reflective surfaces, the new elevations make a play between the contrasting appearance of faience and glass.
The office entrance is located in the retained corner between Air Street and Glasshouse Street making use of the flamboyant architecture of the original building. From this space, decorated with black marble and patterned floors, the visitor rises by lift to the surprise of the day‐lit white atrium with its radiating bridges. A small residential block occupies the Brewer Street / Sherwood Street corner and there are small office suites at the prow of the site between Sherwood Street and Glasshouse Street. A new arcade runs across the prow and gives access to an entrance to the small offices. The arcade has a mirrored ceiling, angled to catch the movement of pedestrians and is the location for an art installation based on layers of glass. Glasshouse Street has become a new pedestrian retail focus connecting Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, with the very active Whole Foods superstore along the north side. Brewer Street has a series of small shop units as a continuation of its Soho life.
Located in the basement, the restored Atlantic restaurant spaces along with Dick’s Bar have become Brasserie Zedel, with Chez Cup being reborn as the successful Crazy Coqs cabaret venue, all being accessed from Sherwood Street. The fine Art Deco Titanic restaurant, also fully restored, has a new lease of life as a steak house, and is accessed from Brewer Street. Donald Insall and Partners were the conservation architects.
The project was completed for The Crown Estate / Stanhope in 2011-12, ahead of schedule and considerably below budget. It has won 19 awards.