WESTMINSTER FIRE STATION FEATURED ON DESIGN CURIAL
WESTMINSTER FIRE STATION
HELPS TRANSFORM VICTORIA
In partnership with Far East Orchard Ltd, development manager Alchemi Group reveals its restoration of the Edwardian Grade II listed Westminster Fire Station.
Victoria, a thriving district in London, was once famous for its workforce of civil servants and politicians. Nowadays, its reputation stems from the fact that it is one of the city’s major transport hubs, but this looks set to change – thanks to a considerable amount of investment in the area, which has transformed Victoria into one of London’s most sought after places to live.
An example of this investment is the recent revelation that the former Edwardian Grade II listed Westminster Fire House, located on Victoria’s Greycoat Place, is being restored and turned into a boutique, mixed-use development. Delivered by Alchemi Group in partnership with Far East Orchard Ltd (a Singapore-based property developer), the development will feature 17 apartments, a restaurant, and a private residential courtyard.
Architecture practice Openstudio has been appointed to lead the restoration, as well as to create a new, contemporary building at the rear of the fire station. Founded in 2006, the practice aims to “create timeless buildings and places that resonate with the location’s history”, and its work on the Westminster Fire House will be no different.
Openstudio’s brief for this new boutique project was to “sensitively juxtapose” the original 1906 Edwardian Grade II listed Fire Station building – which will house 6 apartments – with the new building, dubbed the 'station house', where the other 11 apartments are situated. The project is set to be completed in the summer of 2019 and all of the apartments will be designed by interior design practice, Studio L.
Studio L have collaborated with Openstudio throughout the process in order to retain many of the original fire station features, which will keep the heritage of the building on show. The fire station’s old engine room is set to be transformed into a new restaurant, which will be arranged over two floors. Other original features that have been maintained include the fireman’s pole, a former ‘watch room’, exposed steam beams and the classic glazed brick covered walls.
Bridging the gap between the original firehouse and the newly built ‘station house’ will be a residents-only courtyard area, designed by James Lee Landscape Design. For future residents hoping to visit other green spaces in the area, a proposed redesign of one of Victoria’s treasured green spaces, Christchurch Gardens, is also being discussed.
Now home to a number of restaurants, retail outlets and headquarters for companies including Burberry and John Lewis & Partners, it’s no wonder Victoria is flourishing. The restoration of Westminster Fire Station by Alchemi Group and Far East Orchard Ltd is but the next dynamic step in the transformation of this historic district.