PDP refurbishes art deco office block with jewel-like extensions in glass and steel

Exterior image of a glass extension at 80 the Strand

London practice PDP has renovated Eighty Strand, an art deco office building on the Strand, restoring its original finishes and complementing them with glazed pavilions that reference the style’s geometric forms.

Located at 80 the Strand, the building was originally designed in 1930 by architects Messrs Joseph, serving as the headquarters of Shell-Mex and British Petroleum until it was vacated in 2020.

Image of 80 the Strand
Eighty Strand was renovated by PDP

PDP was tasked with retaining the scale, grandeur and high-quality finishes of the office building’s art deco interiors while upgrading its circulation and facilities to meet modern requirements.

Reconfiguring what was historically a trade entrance, the building’s connection to the Strand has been completely redefined, with an existing archway leading through into a new arrival courtyard and a domed glass and steel entrance pavilion.

Interior image of 80 the Strand
The studio added glass and steel extensions that have an art deco look

“The pavilion intentionally touches the existing structure lightly, respecting the existing fabric – whilst providing a contemporary counterpoint – with a form which is expressive and reminiscent of early 20th-century architecture,” explained the practice.

“The glazed elements of the roof have a frit which emulates the structural bracing at the edge of the dome, [forming] a diamond pattern that is a contemporary nod to the Art Deco motifs found in the building’s interior,” it continued.

Interior image of a corridor at 80 the Strand
The renovation was sensitive to the building’s art deco style. Photo by Andrew Meredith

The entrance pavilion marks the beginning of a newly-defined axis leading through to the southern Embankment entrance, with the surrounding ground floor containing communal, social spaces for tenants and a cafe.

The original stone walls and columns of the building have been restored and are complemented by polished stucco plaster, geometric glass and bronze light fittings on the walls and ceilings.

At the centre of the ground floor, a formerly inaccessible light well has been transformed into “Glasshouse Garden”, a conservatory-like space containing seating, dining and meeting areas.

Framed by lush greenery and green-coloured steelwork with geometric patterns that reference its art deco surroundings, the glasshouse provides a variety of both internal and external spaces overlooked by the surrounding office floors.

Interior image of the mezzanine at 80 the Strand
Original stone walls and columns were restored throughout. Photo by Andrew Meredith

“[The Glasshouse Garden] is an elegant landscaped sanctuary which sits at the heart of Eight Strand’s transformation,” said the practice.

“Working alongside both the MEP and structural engineers, this unique and valuable landlord space was created by altering the floor slabs…to provide level access, making this light well accessible to building users for the first time in 90 years,” it continued.

Image of a courtyard at 80 the Strand
An interior courtyard garden was added to the office building. Photo by Andrew Meredith

PDP has also refurbished four floors of office accommodation in the building, stripping them back to reveal their riveted columns and services, allowing flexible workspaces to be created.

Below, new basement facilities provide showering and changing areas alongside extensive bicycle parking, accessed via a dedicated entrance for bikes and vehicles along the building’s eastern side.

Interior image of a green painted extension at the office building
The studio altered the building’s floorplates to make space for the interior garden. Photo by Andrew Meredith

Other art deco landmarks in London that have been restored include an office near Oxford Street converted into the headquarters of fashion brand COS by Orms, and the conversion of the Hoover Building into apartments by UK studio Interrobang.

The photography is by Adam Parker unless stated otherwise.

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