Central St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects

© RPBW ph. Maurits van der Staay

The proposed concept for the site was to transform a single-use office building into a genuinely mixed use development incorporating office, retail, restaurant and residential use; seeking to create a new destination integrated within the local area.

The architects chose to situate the buildings around a new courtyard in the center of the site, which is connected by a publicly accessible route and ground floor public uses to the surrounding streets and spaces.

The key elements of the scheme were to introduce activity into the area, provide a mix of uses particularly retail, restaurants and housing introducing daytime and night time surveillance, and creating a properly managed and controlled environment which is reflected in the urban design approach to the layout of retail units, spaces and pedestrian routes.

Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Fletcher Priest Architects
Location: London, England
Design team: J.Moolhuijzen, M.van der Staay (partner and associate in charge), N.Mecattaf (associate) with L.Battaglia, S.Becchi, A.Belvedere, G.Carravieri, E.Chen, D.Colas, P.Colonna, W.Matthews, G.Mezzanotte, S.Mikou, Ph.Molter, Y.Pagès, M.Pare, L.Piazza, M.Reale, J.Rousseau, S.Singer Bayrle, R.Stampton and M.Aloisini, R.Biavati, M.Pierce, L.Voiland; O.Auber, C.Colson, Y.Kyrkos (models)
Structure: Ove Arup & Partners
Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon
Pre-Construction Advice: Bovis Lend Lease
Facades: Emmer Pfenninger & Partners
Lighting: P.Castiglioni / G.Bianchi
Fit-out for Affordable Residential: PRP
Landscaping: Charles Funke Associates
Client: Legal & General with Mitsubishi Estate Corporation Stanhope PLC
Project Year: 2002-2010
Drawings and Photographs: Courtesy of RPBW, Courtesy of L&G and MEC, Michel Denance, Hufton & Crow, Joost Moolhuijzen, Maurits van der Staay

© RPBW ph. Maurits van der Staay

Located in Camden, the project is part of a complex urban patchwork of medieval streets, modern buildings and traditional urban blocks. This environment had a dramatic impact on the design of the project.

The scheme is composed of complex volumes, which are characterically chiselled fragmented and reduced in scale to match the surrounding buildings. These chiselled volumes mad St-G an impressive architectural sculpture characterized by a combination of shimmering facets.


Each facet is unique, differing in height, orientation, color, and relationship to natural light. Glass, steel and ceramic are the primary elements of the skin. In each fact the ceramic is used in different shade and colors that respond to the surrounding building, thus helping to integrate the scheme in the immediate urban environment.

© RPBW ph. Maurits van der Staay

At the core of the scheme there is a large courtyard, where the public activity is concentrated with its cafes and restaurants this piazza will generate social life, thus enhancing the urban identity of the site. A six-meter full height glass facade provides a maximum of transparency, five passages through this courtyard allow a permeable scheme and invite passers-by to this piazza shaded by a 20m high tree.

© RPBW ph. Joost Moolhuijzen

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Central St. Giles Court / Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects" 17 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 16 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=104147>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    The best bit about this is the Angel pub opposite.

    ps. Camden is the local council, the project is in Holborn bordering Soho.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I DO like Renzo Piano.

    Excellent urban insertion with the volumes and colors.

    Congrats Mr. Architects!

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    careful thought was given to the colours.watch carefully green for life, yellow for sunshine, red for energy. a little blue for coolness. but where are the plans. kindda difficult following the layout, perhaps a legend might help.thnx to Renzo Piano & Fletcher Priest Architects and the team who put everything together

  4. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    In my opinion, no doubt the worst architectural disaster to rock London since St George Wharf in Vauxhall. Absolutely no sense of scale or adaptation to urban setting other than the garish colour scheme, which would’ve been more appropriate to London had it been the other way around, with the colours on the inside. With such a big team of good architects, you’d think they could come up with more than 1 standard facade detail instead of repeating the same 1 11.000 times. I go past this building all the time and it will always seem like it is out of place and should be situated in La Defense, EuraLille or other “suburban urbanity” with its horrible micro climate and huge, uninteresting perimeter. A true dead-spot so close to Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Rd is heartbreaking…

  5. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    one of Horrible building for Renzo Piano in my opinion,
    out of scale and obsoleted colors

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I find it really smart and cool, it seems to me that the compound is rather a result of elaborate thinking and a strong concept than simply of a design based approach or trends. Hopefully that’s gonna make it a building that won’t become outdated so soon.

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