One Knightsbridge Green scheme located on prominent Brompton Road site close to Harrods

AHMM has submitted plans to partially demolish and replace the last remaining large office building in the upmarket west London neighbourhood of Knightsbridge.

Proposals drawn up for developer Berkeley Estate Asset Management (BERM) would redevelop One Knightsbridge Green, a 1950s modernist office block close to world famous department store Harrods.

The building, known as Caltex House, is on a highly prominent site at the centre of the area’s central shopping strip on Brompton Road, a tourist hotspot known for its high end stores and luxury apartment blocks.

The Knightsbridge Neighbourhood Plan gives the building significant strategic importance as the sole major office site in an area which has lost several large office buildings to residential or retail redevelopments.

Caltex House

Caltex House, the site’s existing office building, built in 1957

AHMM’s plans would retain 51% of the existing structure, refurbishing part of the building on Raphael Street and constructing an 11-storey newbuild block facing Knightsbridge Green and Brompton Road providing a combined total of around 19,000sq m of office space.

An existing pub on the site called Tattersall’s Tavern, one of only two pubs left in Knightsbridge, would also be replaced in the same location on Raphael Street.

The planning application has been submitted to Westminster council, a borough which has become known for taking an increasingly critical eye towards demolish and rebuild projects in recent months under its plans to become a ‘retrofit-first’ city.

BERM said the existing 1957 building, which underwent a refurbishment in the early 2000s by Hurley Robertson & Associates, was now dated and difficult to let to the “quality of tenants that support Knightsbridge as an international retail destination.”

AHMM Knightsbridge 12

How the double-height ground floor lobby would look

The developer added the modernist building’s appearance was not “befitting to its prestigious location” and a “product of its time” which failed to reflect the area’s traditional architectural character.

A consultation in April resulted in a series of changes to the plans, including a setting back of the massing on Knightsbridge Green and Raphael Street due to complaints about the proposed building’s height.

The colour of the facade was also changed from the original green to a terracotta shade to blend in with nearby buildings.

Other firms on the project team include Exigere on costs, CBRE on planning, Heyne Tillett Steel as structural and civil engineer, Blackburn & Co as project manager, Tavernor on townscape, Atelier Ten on sustainability and FMDC on facades.

AHMM is also behind plans to demolish an entire city block in Marylebone and replace it with an eight-storey mixed-use scheme which had been recommended for approval ahead of a Westminster council planning committee this week. However, the decision is understood to have been deferred due to the illness of the presenting planning officer.

AHMM Knightsbridge 3

The facade was changed from a green shade to terracotta following a consultation in April