Practices will collaborate on makeover for grade II* modernist department store

Sergison Bates Architects and heritage consultant Purcell have been commissioned to “restore and reimagine” the external envelope of Chelsea department store Peter Jones.

The grade II* building, which dates back to the 1930s and was the first curtain walled building in the country, is owned by the John Lewis Partnership and fronts one end of Sloane Square.

Sergison Bates said it had presented a strategy for refurbishing and enhancing the store’s historic attributes to “reveal and express the qualities and heritage of its architectural components”, using the facade as a canvas for responding to the surroundings.

The architect said the seven-storey concrete, glass and metal building stitched together elements from different periods and of diverse character into a single city block.

Project lead Mark Tuff said it was an honour to be asked to reimagine such a London institution.

“The opportunity to transform the historic building fabric of this part of our city against the backdrop of current challenges in retail is unique,” he said.

Promotional material for the Peter Jones department store in Sloane Square

Promotional material for the Peter Jones department store in Sloane Square

Purcell partner Elizabeth Smith said the practice had studied archival records regarding the building’s design, which has helped it to “develop a deep understanding of the history and evolution of the building”.

John McAslan & Partners carried out the last major refurbishment of Peter Jones in the early 2000s.

>> Read John McAslan’s interview with BD about the Peter Jones project here.


Sergison Bates said plans for the project were expected to be submitted to the Kensington & Chelsea council by the end of the year.