London Approves Plans for First New Theatre in 30 Years

London’s Westminster City Council has granted planning permission for a regeneration project in the city’s centre at Number One Oxford Street that will include the West End’s first new theatre in 30 years. The project of office, retail, theatre and public realm was designed by AHMM Architects and includes two nine-storey buildings between Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street, on the site formerly occupied by the Astoria and the Mean Fiddler.

The two buildings will comprise a total of 28,400 square meters of office space, 3,900 square meters of retail across three storeys, and 3,800 square meters for cultural use including the 350-450 seat theatre. This is all set around a 720 square meter plaza, creating a new public space opening views of St. Patrick’s Church and the route to Soho Square.

Meanwhile, developer Almacantar has submitted plans for approval for a site just across the road from these two new buildings to convert the iconic 34-storey Centre Point office tower in London into 82 luxury residential flats. Almacantar, which is run by former Land Securities director Mike Hussey, bought Centre Point (designed by Richard Seifert in the 1960s) for £120 million two years ago after its previous owner Targetfollow went into administration.

The huge refurbishment would not see any part of the grade-II listed tower demolished. Instead, the building would be upgraded to cut energy consumption with new high performance glazing, a central combined heat and power system and sedum roof.

Architect Rick Mather has designed the proposed retail parts of the scheme whereas Conran & Partners have been responsible for the design proposals for the tower’s apartments.