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1 New Oxford Street

Location: 1 New Oxford St London

Architects: ORMS

A refurbishment and extension of Commonwealth House at 1 New Oxford Street, a familiar mid-town London landmark. The nine storey prow clock tower of the 1939 building is an unmistakable feature on the corner of New Oxford Street and High Holborn.

Originally designed by architect and planner Henry Philip Cart De Lafontaine as an ‘ultra-modern building of imposing appearance’ the refurbished building provides 12,250 square feet of retail and 95,000 square feet Grade A office space for client TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate).

ORMS Architects specified 320 square metres of Reed Harris’ Selari conglomerate Stone in two shades for the main entrance hallway and lift lobby landings. A polished finish was selected to enhance the definition of the stone and provide strong reflectivity adding to the overall Art Deco feel. The main floor area was cut to bespoke dimensions from 20mm thick slabs which allowed for a large 1172x572mm rectangular format and corresponding triangles in the same dimension. The floors of the lifts cars were fitted in Selari Stone 12mm tiles which were bonded onto 13mm Honeycomb backing by Reed Harris’ Italian Stone fabricator to provide extra strength and rigidity. The stone was installed by Szerelmey, one of London’s premier stone contractors, to exacting standards.

As part of the quality control process Reed Harris invited The Architects, Main Contractor and Sub-Contractor to visit the manufacturing plant near Verona in Italy. The slabs for the project were selected and approved during the visit as the architects were insistent on the white conglomerate stone being as white as possible with a small percentage of grey stones being excepted. Szerelmey subsequently produced detailed cutting sheets for every stone which were used by Reed Harris’ Italian fabricators to cut every piece to the required dimensions. The pieces were then numbered and cross referenced to the cutting sheets for easy identification on site.

The overall result is a floor which provides an amazing entrance to a stunningly well designed and detailed refurbishment.

John Guest – Project Director, Szerelmey comments “Reed Harris were the specified supplier for the agglomerate paving tile at One, New Oxford Street. They were a pleasure to deal with from our first, informative meeting in Verona through to the timely delivery of the product. James Reed Harris’ professionalism was a key factor in our successful working relationship, and we look forward to working with them in the future.