Hammersmith Road Office Block Wins Prestigious Award

Architects' Institute judges praise 'inspiring' building and hidden public garden

245 Hammersmith Road was one of three buildings in our borough to win London Awards

A Hammersmith office block and its 'secret' public garden, just yards from Hammersmith Broadway, have been given a prestigious London Award by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The 11 storey block at 245 Hammersmith Road, situated to the east of the Broadway, was dubbed The Big Red Workplace when it opened two years ago, replacing the demolished Bechtel House.

Along with its distinctive red panels, the building is notable for its grand arched entrance and landscaped stairway. But what many local people do not know is that these stairs lead to a stunning raised plaza, which is entirely open to the public.

The plaza offers sunny landscaped gardens and leafy seating areas, and also includes the adjoining Novotel Hotel's open air terrace bar. A stairway at the western end meanwhile leads down to Hammersmith Broadway.

The RIBA judges said, “245 Hammersmith Road is a bold new office building in the Hammersmith Business Improvement District that packs a punch on delivering civic functions and social value.

“ The new block is set back from Hammersmith Road, providing a new streetscape fronted by three new retail units at ground level as well as the building's main entrance. The facades are striking - their red, angled, anodised aluminium cladding panels appearing to change in colour throughout the day and as one moves around the building.

“ A public plaza to the east of the main entrance can accommodate various community events and is intended to catalyse further public-realm enhancements as neighbouring buildings are developed.

“ It is linked to an elevated garden at the rear of the new building up a grand sweep of stairs (and lift) that rise up under the southernmost block. Still open to the public, the garden - which sits atop a retained podium structure hiding vehicular access for deliveries and parking - features lush planters, lawns and external meeting rooms for gatherings and functions.”

The judges were also impressed by the range of facilities dedicated to office residents' physical wellbeing and active travel, including storage for bikes and scooters, a health and wellness room, changing rooms and showers.

The building's green credentials include high-performance glazing and solar panels which generate energy on-site.

The building includes a 'secret garden'
The building includes a 'secret garden'

The judges said, "The client's brief was for 'an inspiring work environment that connects occupiers, fosters collaboration and maximises productivity, with green spaces for building users and the public'. The architect has delivered on all fronts, setting the stage for the client's ongoing commitment to social value.”

Architects Sheppard Robson said the award was 'fantastic news'.

Companies based in the building include Achilles Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immunotherapies, gene and cell therapy developers Orchard Therapeutics and Hana co-working space.

245 Hammersmith Road was one of three buildings in our borough to win London Awards, along with Imperial College's Sir Michael Uren Hub in White City and the new Sands End Arts and Community Centre in Fulham, which was also named London Building of the Year.

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June 17, 2022

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