17 June 2020
sponsored by Artelia Group
This project - submitted by Mowat & Company - has successfully integrated new architecture integrated into an old valuable place. Berry Bros. & Rudd are London’s oldest wine and spirits merchant, they have incrementally expanded into several Grade II and II buildings at the historic 3 St James’s. They required an architectural restoration to improve the wellbeing of its users and the profitability of the company. As the estate had undergone mismatched refurbishment over many years, the team wanted to modernise the architecture, reveal and connect the spaces and return them to their former glory. It’s a new lease of life for the home of London’s oldest premium wine merchant.
Given Mowat & Company’s previous experience of working with Berry Bros. & Rudd, including their shop at 63 Pall Mall, they understand both the private and public aspects of the company. For Berry Bros. & Rudd, their main priority was to modernise their working environment and futureproof the existing office spaces, update their IT infrastructure and implement new hot desking facilities. They needed an office environment to suit the needs of existing and new employees and flexible working for professional visitors.
In more detail
Mowat & Company feel that this project displays aspects of what they like to call ‘hidden modernisation’. The existing historic fabric has been retained and upgraded to an exemplary level, in a careful and considered way. The restoration required attention to detail to retain the historic character of the company and the building.
There were areas of disrepair and of poor condition throughout the buildings so they implemented new infrastructure, levelled out the floors, updated the lighting conditions with draft proofing throughout. The existing floorboards were extensively refurbished and all heating and cooling equipment was overhauled to increase lifespan, reduce energy use, and ensure that everyone is comfortable.
Moreover, the building lacked any form of internal connection to the company’s 300-year history in the wine trade. Through time, the building has acquired many disconnected internal interventions and in response, the building was respectfully returned to its original dimensions, creating open-plan layouts for collaborative working spaces. Materials such as oak and cork were used to connect the heritage alongside displays of the artefacts that they found.
Adding commercial value to the client
As well as increased productivity, the building has further income-generating potential. The ground floor of the building is currently used as an event space and has hosted the revival of Berry Bros. & Rudd historic wine weighing practice. There are already tour events of the grounds for the general public and these could be opened up for wider public interest.
The building has also been used in many films, the latest being the HQ in the film Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
About the Value Award:
Judges are looking for an initiative, project or series of projects that has focused on the value of facilities in use and the outcomes for owners and users. Good facilities add value by enabling owners and/or users to live or work better in them.