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  7. South Molton Street Building / DSDHA

South Molton Street Building / DSDHA

  • 01:00 - 2 July, 2013
South Molton Street Building / DSDHA
South Molton Street Building / DSDHA, Courtesy of DSDHA
Courtesy of DSDHA

Courtesy of Bosideng © Dennis Gilbert © Dennis Gilbert © Dennis Gilbert +19

  • Client

    Bosideng UK Ltd
  • Facade Consultant

  • Design Built Contractor

    McLaren Group
  • Structural/Civil/M&E Engineer

    Ramboll Whitbybird
  • Structural Engineer

    BWB Consulting Limited
  • M&E Consultant

    Walker & Walker
  • Quantity Surveyor

    Stace LLP
  • Planning Consultant

    Montagu Evans
  • Delivery Architect

    Ward McHugh Associates
  • More SpecsLess Specs
© Dennis Gilbert
© Dennis Gilbert

The South Molton Street Building is a new mixed-use development located on Oxford Street, London’s busiest shopping thoroughfare, at the junction with South Molton Street and Davies Street. It is adjacent to Bond Street Underground Station, which will benefit from the arrival of Crossrail in 2018 and an influx of additional visitors to the area. The development replaces a former pub with a new high quality mixed- use building comprising retail, office space and residential. The six-storey building is the brand headquarters and flagship store for Bosideng, China’s largest retailer (which has over 4000 outlets in China), introducing the brand to an international audience.

© Dennis Gilbert
© Dennis Gilbert

The design responds to the building’s unique location, its surrounding context within Mayfair and proximity to the historic route of the buried River Tyburn. Seeking to reflect the qualities of the area, it presents a contemporary sustainable architecture that embodies good design and craftsmanship.

© Dennis Gilbert
© Dennis Gilbert

Sited within a Conservation Area and highly prominent from all sides, there are five separate approach routes to the South Molton Street Building. DSDHA has taken a three-dimensional approach based on the kinetic experience of seeing and walking past the building from different points of view. Bookending a pedestrianised street, the form of the building is created to improve the status of the address, and as the facade gracefully turns the curved corner facing Oxford Street it reveals greater transparency on the retail and residential floors, evoking a sense of movement and change across the elevation. From Davies Street, a distinct residential and commercial entrance is created to visually terminate the street when approached from Brook Street and Berkeley Square.

© Dennis Gilbert
© Dennis Gilbert

The facade is composed of subtly varying profiled glazed terracotta tiles, designed specifically for the project in close collaboration with the manufacturer. Taking inspiration from the aqueous historic reference of the River Tyburn flowing along South Molton Street, the bespoke facade has been developed to create a perceived sense of movement or undulation as you pass by. The glazed battens are shaped to capture shadow and reflect light to create a dynamic and ever-changing elevation.

© Dennis Gilbert
© Dennis Gilbert

Glazed terracotta was chosen to complement the red brick and terracotta buildings of Mayfair, in particular Grays Antiques on Davies Street and the fine turreted and bay-windowed corner building on the junction of Oxford Street and South Molton Street. Black detailing and articulation relates to the contextual use of cast iron in Edwardian precedents, such as Claridges on Davies Street.

© Dennis Gilbert
© Dennis Gilbert

Terracotta battens run the length of the facade glazing, referencing the stone mullions evident in the locale. They mask the glazing, giving the building its forceful vertical emphasis and creating a unified skin to the entire block. When read as a whole the scale of the building is purposefully ambiguous and the architecture abstract in quality, so that it is difficult to ascribe a particular size to the building itself. The absence of manifest apertures or windows within the building’s enclosure is a deliberate device so that you read the building as one form, rather than an assembly of floor plates and mix of uses. It is simultaneously both human and urban scaled.

Fifth Floor Plan
Fifth Floor Plan

The building creates a memorable local landmark, bookending two fine streets and consolidating a busy junction. It can be read as a dynamic prow thrusting into the path of the hordes of shoppers marching east and west on Oxford Street, orientating them along South Molton Street. 

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "South Molton Street Building / DSDHA" 02 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Pierre · October 17, 2013

I think it looks much better now, the architect has a realy good understanding about using the right scale. Good job!

William · July 09, 2013

Agree with MW, it's ignorant architecture and the street view is even worse. A good architect would try to reuse the old building, or at least make a contextual building and more beautiful building as the previous (which is quite difficult).

haomiao cheng · July 05, 2013

What's amazing of the name "bosideng"!!!

Tadeusz · July 05, 2013
MW · July 03, 2013

This development is a disgrace to Westminster Planning Council to allow for demolition of beautiful 20' building and replace it with tacky . out of scale architecture.
This is what was on the site before:

Rizky Muzakir · August 16, 2013 09:40 AM

I personally into conserving heritage building, but I say the facade of the new building is quiet attractive, but may not be the best solution for the area. I do think that the old building doesn't really improve the site overall.

Sam · July 04, 2013 11:58 PM

Out of scale ? The old one was yes. I like this one much better.


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