dn-a is delighted to report that Richmond Borough Council recently granted full planning consent for our proposed 1 Castle Yard development in Richmond.

We worked successfully with the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames at the pre-application stage to enable a smooth planning process with consent resoundingly achieved in January 2023.

Designed for Exton Estates, the design brief was to provide an exemplar refurbishment scheme to the existing commercial office building at 1 Castle Yard, that would appeal to forward looking occupiers who now aspire to locate within amenity rich, collaborative environments which can support recruitment, retention, future proofing, sustainability, and productivity. The scheme will optimise the site through both sound design and place making principles. A contemporary design which blends seamlessly into its immediate context and reflects the rich local heritage, enhancing the sense of arrival and connection with Richmond Town Centre.

The current office building, 1 Castle Yard, is beyond its economic life in its current form and requires a full refurbishment. By retaining the existing concrete frame and much of the existing brick façade the scheme has been conceived with the well-being of the user and the environment at the core of the design. The intention of the proposal was to not only refurbish the building to the highest sustainable construction standards but to add additional area to improve and enhance the building offering.

The proposal was for a two-storey roof extension with terraces to accommodate additional commercial floorspace (Class E), stacked plant enclosure, remodelled entrance with ramp, associated refuse and cycle storage and hard and soft landscaping to Castle Mews. The two additional storeys will increase the total floorspace from approximately 13,500 sq ft to 20,500 sq ft.

Internally the floors will be stripped back to the soffit, creating additional height and volume. External terraces on the third and fourth will further add to the appeal and vibrancy of the building.

The design approach commenced with examining the existing building’s geometry and evolved through a series of iterations using 3D modelling to study the bulk and massing constraints within the contextual surroundings. This was then developed to achieve an elegant and purposeful façade design with sustainability in mind that delivers a welcoming and readily identifiable presence within this discrete urban setting.

Setbacks were introduced to the upper floors to reduce mass and the impact on the immediate townscape. In doing so improving upon the existing building’s architectural presence with a classical tripartite division of base middle and top.

‘Despite it’s size, this has been a complicated project given it’s urban environment and the various stakeholders needing to be brought onboard. We have ended up with a progressive all-electric building which will sit well in the marketplace, and we have been very impressed with the work ethic and design flair of all the team at dn-a.’

Stuart Bedford, Director at Exton Estates

“We are extremely positive about this exciting opportunity in Richmond, and confident that Castle Yard will draw a range of new occupiers to this attractive part of the Town. This is a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate a building that is past it’s best and create a new exemplar standard for offices in Historic Richmond town centre.”

Chris Griffin, Associate at dn-a architecture