This project will provide a new bespoke headquarters for Qatar Airways, and as part of their brand recognition strategy, will advocate the importance of the client’s retail presence at No. 10 and 11 Conduit Street in Westminster. The client has since 1997 occupied this site historically representative of the sales offices of many international airlines and within close proximity to the luxury retail and tourism destinations of the West End.
The new five-storey building integrates a contemporary office environment and a retail ticket showroom reflecting the ideology of Qatar Airways and responding to the programme requirements of the 5-star airline that has received numerous accolades for outstanding service and operational excellence. The project replaces two late 1940s and early 1950s buildings constructed following the demolition of four-storey Georgian terrace buildings that had been severely damaged during World War II.
A comprehensive study of the context and history of the site and a considered approach to the massing and proportion of the proposed building has informed the design of the innovative tripartite façade and the reinterpretation of traditional materials, maximising the visibility of the client’s brand. Three overlying Portland stone ‘wings’ or covert feathers, embodying directional movement across the entire façade, carefully mitigate the neighbouring single-height base and the composition of No. 9, a Grade II* listed building to create two distinct openings: one serving the main entrance and the second larger billowing fenestration of the double-height retail vitrine. The retail frontage utilises the latest glazing technology and a decorative frit pattern that disappears from the bowed glass to reveal an inspiring display and ticketing hall and a stunning view into the world of Qatar Airways.
Office Headquarters and Ticket Sales Showroom
A set of stone and hand-patinated bronze recesses separates and contrasts the feather-shaped elements with the neighbouring elevations, while fritted glass, extending the height of the façade, defines a further significant shift between the new façade and the architectural detail of the listed building. The multiple layers of the windows, that perforate the predominantly planar elevation, create an intricate counterpart: their deep reveals wrapped with hand-patinated bronze metalwork and operable and fixed glazing panels accompanied by hand-patinated bronze perforated screens. The receding curved roof, clad in zinc shingles, encloses the spectacular conference room. The billowing glass of three partially fritted ‘dormer’ windows reiterates the retail fenestration below.
© 2017 PLP Architecture
New Business Enquiries
Press Enquiries / Speaking Engagements