Imperial House, Kingsway
Client: Local Authorities' Mutual Investment Trust
Imperial House was designed by Trehearne and Norman and formed part of a series of buildings that were constructed following the opening of Kingsway as a boulevard in 1905. The building was completed in 1913 and whilst not listed, it is identified as an unlisted building of merit in the Strand Conservation Area Audit SPG. We were commissioned to refurbish four of the eight office floors to provide high-quality office accommodation, as well as the common parts. The office areas are designed with exposed services to compliment the design ethos established within the new entrance area. The most significant design intervention was the relocation of the building entrance. The existing entrance on Kingsway had very little street presence and led into a corridor with no seating or waiting area. We relocated the principal entrance to the ‘rear’ of the building and consequently rebranded it as a Covent Garden property with a new address: 8 Kean Street. Significant areas within the basement were also reconfigured to provide bicycle racks, lockers, showers, WCs and a drying room for use by the office tenants. The building now enjoys a large and airy reception area, to serve the needs of the media and tech companies that are attracted to Covent Garden.