U + I have been awarded planning consent to transform and extend Valentines House; an office building which will be developed for residential led mixed-use and designed by Farrells. Located near Ilford station, the development will be even better connected when Crossrail services start in 2018. The scheme is the first in the London Borough of Redbridge where an existing office building is being converted to residential use under permitted development rights.
The design includes a complete change to the facade, with a four storey extension for additional residential space. A total of 122 high quality residential apartments for the private rental sector will be built with a rooftop landscaped area at first floor level for residents. The new 11 and 9 storey blocks will be sustainable buildings, constructed in high quality materials. Single storey ground floor extensions will provide retail space, whilst new public realm will create an enhanced environment for pedestrians. A new Crossrail ticket station on the ground floor will provide convenience for residents and drive footfall to the ground floor retail space.
Farrells unique design for Valentines House responds to the existing structure of the building, and is largely influenced by the local history of the area. Materials have been selected to represent a historically famous local business, ‘Ilford Photo’ founded in 1879, who were manufacturers of black and white photographic films, paper and chemicals. This can be seen most prominently through a black and white building facade. A yellow colour band has also been introduced to the fascia of the retail units – a colour that was part of the original Ilford Photo logo.
Privacy screens fixed to the balcony structure have a pixelated pattern representing signal patterns of early CRT television screens, influenced by John Logie Baird, who invented the television whilst living in Ilford. The development of the site will provide a substantial contribution to both residential and retail floorspace requirements in this area and is due for completion in 2017, months before the opening of Crossrail at Ilford station.
Peter Barbalov, Partner at Farrells said:
‘Valentines House will soon be relaunched as the ‘Horizon building’. The refurbishment of this under-used space will provide spacious, high quality one and two bedroom flats, and will also provide a hugely desirable space for many businesses. This new development will be integral to the ongoing regeneration of Ilford, as the area becomes an increasingly popular gateway to the capital – particularly with the excellent transport links to be introduced in 2017, significantly reducing journey times from Ilford station to London Liverpool Street.’
Matthew Weiner, Chief Executive of U+I, said:
“This is an exciting regeneration project, in which U+I is transforming a largely vacant office building into a highly desirable residential and commercial space for Ilford. We have a number of projects in suburban London locations where demand for residential product is strong. We also identified many years ago that Crossrail would be a significant driver of growth and as a result, have several live projects along the Crossrail route at Slough, Abbey Wood, Ilford and Hayes. The partnership with IP Global, our second to date following our joint success at The Deptford Project, is allowing us to deliver a high quality residential product to the market and I am very pleased to see such high demand for the residential units”.