British Land has had its plans approved by Ealing Council Planning Committee for the refurbishment and part-expansion of International House at 7 High Street in Ealing. Our aim is to bring the existing office space up to modern standards and create additional space that could bring many more jobs and local investment to the area.
Provided on this page is further detail about the plans coming forward – you can have a closer look at our emerging designs, specific improvements to the façade and building exterior, the ground floor entrance or interior works.
1. The existing International House building
International House forms part of the Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and was opened in 1985. It comprises approximately 100,000 sqft of office space, which is sat above the shops that line the High Street on the eastern side of the shopping centre, which are accessed from street level via escalators.
You can see the outline of the building highlighted in red below. As you can see, in addition to the building itself, within the footprint of the building is a central atrium and flanking courtyards.
The ground floor of the building is largely let to retail and feeds into the Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre towards the east of the site. At first floor there is a car park that can be accessed from both the northern and southern ends of the building. There is also a goods delivery & loading bay at ground/basement level.
North end of the colonnade on High Street adjacent to Marks & Spencers
Ground floor entrance lobby
Lift landings to the west end of the atrium
Typical office floor with exposed soffit
From 2nd floor up to 4th the building is not directly connected to the shopping centre.
2. The design brief
We are considering a number of changes to bring International House up to a modern standard and to ensure it remains attractive to a range of different occupiers, bringing new jobs to the area. In addition, and in line with British Land’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions within our portfolio by 2030, we are aiming for this to be a ‘best in class’ refurbishment in terms of sustainability.
In order to achieve our vision for the building – to refurbish and increase the space – we set out the following brief to our architects Barr Gazetas.
1. Complementing the building’s history and beloved design elements – We understand and cherish the value the building brings to the local Conservation Area and our proposed amends will be sensible to that. – We understand and cherish the value the building brings to the local Conservation Area and we will be considerate with our proposed amendments.
2. Maximising efficiency and wellbeing – The current internal spaces are out of date and need to be improved to bring them to a modern standard and to remain attractive to potential occupiers
3. Looking at ways to sensitively increase the amount of office space that can be created
4. Respecting local neighbours and remaining in keeping with the existing scale – Our proposed extension to the roof is therefore minimal and will not impact on existing key local views and streetscape.
5. Sticking to a material palette that reflects the heritage of the area – The chosen materials will complement the existing red brickwork and will only emphasise the building’s grandeur, while making it more inviting and contemporary.
6. Dramatically improving the sustainability of the building– We are aiming for this to be a ‘best in class’ refurbishment in terms of sustainability and will seek to dramatically reduce the carbon emissions from the building
3. The submitted proposals
Our vision for this building seeks to:
- Refurbish and enhance the main entrance and move the reception area to a new location within the atrium;
- Create a new fifth floor extension to increase the amount of office spaces within the building;
- Extend the existing roof terrace at the back of the building, facing away from the High Street;
- Enhance the internal courtyards to both provide additional office space and increase the amenity for future occupiers;
- Make minor interventions to the façades at the front and back of the building to enrich their visual appeal;
Provide new changing facilities and cycle parking for tenants to encourage people to cycle into work.
Overall these proposals will increase the amount of office space within the building from c.9,500sqm to 15,300sqm, without significantly impacting on the view of the building from the High Street.
Provided in the sections below is further information about some of the key design changes that have been submitted.
4. Sensible restoration of building’s exterior
The current building looks tired and needs a refresh in order to ensure that it remains attractive to occupiers.
We are proposing to do this through as few interventions as possible, to ensure that we maintain the character of the existing building and that it is in-keeping with the wider area. Changes will be made both to the front of the building along the High Street and at the back of the building within the existing courtyards.
The chosen material palette for these refreshed façades is in keeping with the local character and heritage of the Conservation Area.
The material and colour palette for the refurbished facade
Image of the new courtyard area, with the refreshed façade (right) compared to the existing (left)
The new facade facing the High Street
5. Creating a one storey extension in place of the existing roof structure
We are looking to create a small roof extension of one storey. This will be set back from the high street, allowing us to both provide new high-quality office and commercial space, while ensuring that the building remains in keeping with the surrounding area in terms of height and massing.
The images below have been created by using Ealing Council’s approved modelling programme, known as ‘Vu.City’, and aim to demonstrate the very low impact our proposals will have, compared to the existing building.
The new extension will be clad in zinc to remain in keeping with the existing upper floor of the building. Photovoltaics will also provide a clean source of energy for the building and occupiers (more on our sustainability strategy can be found here.)
Windows have also deliberately been ‘chamfered’ or inset to ensure that they do not draw too great a contrast with the existing windows below, whilst ensuring that they can provide the maximum amount of light into the internal spaces.
The new one storey extension and materials
6. Improving the entrance to the building to draw people to the site
As part of this, we are proposing to create a new contemporary reception area suitable for modern offices, complete with break out and co-working spaces at atrium level, opening up the space by the escalators on the ground floor.
Planting will be introduced throughout to significantly enhance visual appeal, improve indoor air quality and enhance the wellbeing of occupiers.
Overtime, we are also planning to improve surrounding shop fronts to further enhance the look of this part of the High Street.
Existing reception area and second floor walk ways
Left: Existing Main Entrance from High Street colonnade.
Right: New Main Entrance from high Street colonnade.
Images of the new reception area at atrium level
7. Bringing the office facilities up to modern standards
In order to attract new high-performing and job-creating businesses to the area and to International House specifically, we need to improve the existing occupier facilities and amenities.
We are currently considering the following options:
- Technology testing room
- Lecture room
- Bookable meeting rooms
- Screening room
- Model making rooms with 3D printing
This would further enhance the building’s amenity to provide for the new occupants.
Artist’s impression of the new interior office spaces
8. Improving the sustainability of the building
Since 2009 we have already achieved a 55% reduction in energy intensity and 73% reduction in carbon intensity versus our 2009 baseline, along with a 16% reduction in embodied carbon emissions (those from the development of buildings).
Continuing this work, we aim for this to be a ‘best in class’ refurbishment in terms of sustainability, and are committed to adhering to the below principles:
Reducing carbon emissions by 35% compared to the current building
- Achieving a BREAM excellent rating – one of the top ratings from the world’s leading authority on the sustainability of buildings
- Encouraging the use of sustainable transport by occupiers through the provision of more and better cycling facilities
- Seeking to reuse and recycle existing building materials where possible to reduce embodied emissions