So many of the great architectural eras have shaped London, it would be easy to forget the city’s Art Deco gems. Grade II listed Barkers of Kensington, which helped shape the Kensington High Street we know today, opened in 1938 standing six storeys tall, sits firmly in that category.
Acquired by House of Fraser in the 1950s, the department store ceased to operate as such in the 1980s.The upper floors were re-developed as offices, which included forming a large atrium from the first floor upwards in the centre of the building
These now-tired spaces are receiving a modernised look and feel by Emrys Architects with Civic Engineers’ structural design work at the helm. Most of the building will be stripped back to the structure and redesigned to completely revitalise the circulation patterns within the building and provides refurbished CAT-A commercial space with exposed services.
The centre-piece of the scheme will be a re-invigorated atrium with informal meeting spaces, a café and high-level walkways and bridges to provide better connectivity throughout the building. A new feature stair and panoramic lifts will be provided for vertical circulation, bringing the atrium back into the heart of the building.