Bell Yard Apartments is a 10,600 sqft office-to-residential conversion occupying a richly historical site in the Strand Conservation Area adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice, London. The existing building was low in architectural merit and presented an exciting opportunity to be reimagined as something of much higher quality and contribute more positively to the local conservation area. With shared aspirations towards adaptive reuse, the project team achieved this with minimal structural intervention; whilst managing to increase the GIA by 25% and dramatically improve its appearance.
The scheme sought optimal density to provide 12 residential units in a mainly commercial area. It did so by reinventing a tired vacant office building, on a busy pedestrian thoroughfare in the heart of Central London. The project therefore successfully contributes to diversifying the mix of use classes and increasing the vitality of the street on a human scale - previously uncharacteristic of the area. Equally, the architecture of the building is now more coherent and adds to the richness of local heritage through careful choice of materials and proportion. The proposed design is driven by its historical neighbours with the hierarchy, proportions and materiality all designed to enhance the street scene. The rhythm of the façade takes cues from its origin as four town houses.