Brick Manufacturer: Coleford Brick & Tile
Architect: Fletcher Priest Architects
Brickwork Contractor: Swift Brickwork Contractors Ltd
About the project
Oxbourne House project includes high quality apartments and a prominent retail provision, as well as step-free access to Bond Street Underground and Crossrail Station below, where a new street-level station entrance has been constructed off Marylebone Lane.
The building has been developed as two subtle volumes, each playing a specific role. The element forming the corner with Stratford Place refers to the original 18th Century gatehouse that defined the southern façade. The second larger volume that forms the principal façade along Oxford Street and Marylebone Lane is of the scale and character of Oxford Street to the east. It reflects the intense retail activity along these roads.
In response to a complex operational infrastructure brief, the hybrid building was designed with functions that change as the construction progressed. For several years the site existed solely as a concrete construction gantry that supported construction and site accommodation and storage over two large-diameter shafts sunk to the Elizabeth Line platforms and station below. Reuse of the structural frame delivered substantial time, cost and environmental savings by avoiding waste and the need for temporary structures. The new facades are completed in high quality, hand laid, traditional brickwork to integrate the building with the proportions of the Georgian architecture of the Stratford Place Conservation Area and to provide a façade with sufficient solidity to protect the interior from excessive solar gain and traffic noise.
Following extensive research and after much consideration Fletcher Priest have specified Mixed Purple bricks, hand thrown, by Coleford Brick & Tile which have been colour matched to the heritage buildings of Stratford Place. While hand-thrown bricks are more irregularly shaped than machine-produced bricks, the specification introduces an element of craft into the building’s façade. Arranged in a single brick Flemish bond, the façade correlates with the adjoining neighbours. A deep-set entrance to the residential apartments features a brick arch entrance and the motif is carried through to the interior finishes with saw-cut end-grain timber flooring to brick dimensions.
Lime mortar is used throughout, helping to minimise the use of dilation joints, which are hidden within the façade’s articulation. Unlike the usual 10mm mortar joint, we achieved a 8mm joint, creating a taught elevation appearance.