Grove House demonstrates the potential for speculative low carbon retrofit in London. Located in Hammersmith, the project is one of the first completed commissions by Low Carbon Workplace, a partnership between Stanhope, Threadneedle and the Carbon Trust. The organisation aims to tackle the key sustainability challenge of reworking post-war building stock to meet carbon reduction targets within the constraints of the speculative office letting market.
Grove House provides excellent raw material given the qualities of the existing building, its proximity to a major urban centre with excellent public transport links and its pleasant immediate context. The original building dates from the late 1940s and retains elements of distinctive character from that era.
Internally, the scheme combines the solid massing of the original building with a new lightweight glazed atrium and lift core positioned axially on the entrance in a former open courtyard. This creates a powerful new focal space, brings legibility to the plan and retains natural light at the heart of the building. A distinctive glass fritting designed by Bennetts Associates dapples the interior with an ever-changing play of shadows.
Externally, the building’s entrance and approach are reinforced by an extruded portal that acts as a counterpoint to the linear rhythm of the existing façade, a new landscaped entrance forecourt which extends into the interior and low-level planting at the site boundary.
Building on Bennetts Associates’ experience with groundbreaking retrofit projects such as Elizabeth II Court, Winchester, Grove House meets Low Carbon Workplace’s aspiration to provide bespoke, contemporary offices with good sustainability credentials. A BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and EPC ‘B’ are achieved through a range of measures such as exploiting the narrow plan, maximising daylight quality, and efficient mechanical ventilation and artificial lighting.
The shell and core were completed in July 2013 and the building is fully pre-let.