Practice refurbs film firm’s former office building in Kingsway
Barr Gazetas has completed the refurbishment of a grade II-listed office building in central London that was once the European headquarters of film firm Kodak.
Designed by Sir John Burnet and Partners, 65 Kingsway was completed in 1911. It is described by government heritage adviser Historic England as a “pioneering work of modern design” that evolved from Edwardian neo-classical design, “stripped of almost all ornament and with a Beaux Arts axial plan”.
Barr Gazetas’ work for the privately-owned real estate fund-management firm Clearbell has seen the steel-framed building returned to its former grandeur and turned into category-A workspace across seven floors.
The building’s original façade has been sensitively restored, isolating its stones to remove corrosion on the existing steelwork at the same time as minimising impact on the building’s heritage features.
Renamed The Kodak, the building has also been reorientated towards its Keeley Street entrance, where guests are greeted by new reception space with features that recall the building’s past life as Kodak’s headquarters.
Touches include castellated steel beams with “film strip style” perforations, wall-moulded timber panelling and photographic style light fittings.
The building’s historic first-floor reception area has been refurbished as office space. Features including marble columns, ceiling details, coving and stairs have been restored with finishes tied to those used in the main reception for continuity.
Barr Gazetas’ work also included rebuilding the structure’s top two mansard storeys in a complementary style to the original – using Portland stone, white-glazed bricks and the historic bronze.
At roof level, a new terrace provides access to social space and city views surrounded by greenery.
Barr Gazetas director Jonathan Allwood said the practice took inspiration for the project from the original purpose-built offices of Chicago.
“Our refurbishment of The Kodak reinstates its street presence, restoring the building’s historic character whilst delivering a state-of-the art workspace that balances elegant design with a sense of fun,” he said.
The Kodak has earned a series of environmental, social and governance accolades, including BREEAM “excellent”, WELL “gold”, WiredScore “platinum” and EPC “B”.
Savills was planning consultant, structural engineer was Heyne Tillett Steel and M&E engineer was Watkins Payne.