Academy House has won the Facades and Cladding category at the inaugural AJ Specification Awards. The awards celebrate outstanding working relationships between architects, manufacturers and suppliers.
The brief at Academy House was to create a prominent office headquarters and flagship fashion store at the corner of Oxford Street and Poland Street, by transforming the existing undistinguished 1980s building through extensive refurbishment and recladding. The challenge was to create a distinctive and contemporary office that complimented the surrounding heritage of the area, which includes a diverse collection of Grade II-listed buildings.
Working collaboratively with Darwen Terracotta and Faience, along with faience specialist Szerelemy, JRA revived traditional methods to develop the distinctive blue terracotta faience, which offers a versatile material with an infinite range of possibilities in facades and interiors. Its durability and potential for multiple variations in colour, texture and pattern, allowed JRA to create a striking finish that complements its North Soho location.
The result is a premium office and retail space with a natural and distinctive facade that forms part of the long term regeneration of the east end of Oxford Street.
What the judges said:
‘It takes a lot of collaboration to achieve something like this’.
‘A beautiful result’.
‘This for me was about true collaboration – a real engagement with people making a product and really good specifying which should be celebrated.’