Riding House Street hosts an extraordinary breadth of architectural styles. From John Nash’s All Souls Church at its most easterly point, the street skips haphazardly from 19th Century terraces to post war commercial buildings; concrete slab structures and 20th Century apartment blocks.
Located in London’s Fitzrovia, where Riding House Street opens to Wells Street, sits The Interlock, a new five-storey mixed-use building designed by Bureau de Change architects for developer HGG London.
The light-filled café at the base of the building offers a counterpoint to the weight and inkiness of the façade. With every surface washed in white, the heavy-set mullions are halved and extruded from their frames to form ribbons that curve and fold over the ceiling in a style reminiscent of ornamental plasterwork. The monochromatic palette is broken only by cuts of oak that line the floor and countertops. The floor below the café is a purpose-built gallery space hosting exhibitions, workshops and talks.
At the rear, the building is set out as a series of stacked boxes of varying form and size. Each floor is shallower than the last with the deepest floor plan at the bottom and the smallest at the top. Within this stepped form sits a series of deep light wells and skylights that track daylight in to the centre and edges of the building, creating internal patios on the lowest floors and light wells on others.
The project represents a shared vision between developer and architect to taking London’s architecture and re-approaching it in a way that brings something new to the streetscape.