80 Charlotte Street, London
Situated close to the Brick Development Association's offices and importantly to our regular haunt, the Bricklayer's Arms, 80 Charlotte Street is a mixed-use development comprising commercial, residential and retail accommodation, as well as a small public park in London’s Fitzrovia.
Designed by Make Architects, the project is inherently urban in its integration with the city, both in terms of massing and composition. The decision to use masonry was established early on and is a contextual response to the surrounding area, as well as a decision to retain the 1930s art deco masonry buildings on Whitfield Street and Chitty Street, writes Make.
Handmade, long-format bricks are used for the Charlotte Street and Chitty Street corner block, providing an artisanal character with a rich variety of greys and textures across the elevation. The regular fenestration with deep reveals provides depth and solidity to the building, akin to the smaller Georgian townhouses in the area. The bricks are accented with recessed bed joints and flush perps, which enhance the layering and horizontality of the solid corners. Primary piers land at grade on brick turned-on-end pedestals to ground the block at the base.
The corner building is complemented across Poets Park by a standard format handmade. The Charlotte Apartments residential extension employs matching grey bricks of a smaller format. Between these, the setback Chitty Street elevation of dark blue, long-format engineering brick with sand struck speckles forms the backdrop to Poets Park. Here, the fenestration increases in scale as the building rises, finishing with a two-storey loggia. The dark brick complements the lighter greys of the blocks either side and the light zinc spandrel panels. The bricks are turned at the base to form a border to Poets Park, framing the basalt insets on the ground.
On Whitfield Street, the retained art deco facades have been painstakingly repaired and reconditioned. 71 Whitfield Street comprises beige imperial-format bricks topped by a brick-lattice that provides screened views from the offices. Repairs were also made to the existing red bricks of the Charlotte Apartments art deco corner building, with a new setback extension finished in red handmade brick. Across the road the existing brown clay bricks to the 1950s Asta House have been made-good and painted black, while around the back on Charlotte Mews, grey linear bricks with a special applied finish have been used to extend the block with brick-lattice screens and setback terraces.