Rathbone Square, a mixed-use development in the heart of the UK capital, is playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the eastern end of Oxford Street — and will also house Facebook's new London headquarters
Anyone who has travelled along London's Oxford Street from Marble Arch eastwards in the direction of Tottenham Court Road tube station and beyond will have noticed that once you get past Oxford Circus into Fitzrovia, everything starts to look, well, a little bit grimy. Thanks to large-scale development in the area, this is quickly changing.
Along with the boom in surrounding construction following the route of the city's new Crossrail link, there is now Rathbone Square W1, a mixed-use development owned by central London property investment and development specialist, Great Portland Estates. This landmark project totals 416,000 sq-ft and includes 142 private residences and 242,800 sq-ft of offices — which have been let to social network giant Facebook as its new London headquarters.
As well as the new offices at One Rathbone Square, there will be 25,000 sq-ft of retail space set around a courtyard garden and a communal square, all designed by award-winning architects Make. "At Rathbone Square, we saw an opportunity to create an exciting new space for residents and the public, while contributing to the wider enhancement of this part of the West End," says Toby Courtauld, chief executive, Great Portland Estates. "Through our collaboration with Make, our development will do exactly that, while respecting Fitzrovia's unique feel."
The Rathbone Square project is one of the largest sites to be developed in the West End in recent years and, with the arrival of Crossrail in 2018, will play a major role in enhancing this part of central London. Make's design will carefully stitch Rathbone Square into the surrounding fabric of Fitzrovia's streets through the use of cornice lines, framed windows and parapets.
A new square, designed by award-winning international landscape architecture practice Gustafson Porter & Bowman will be located at the centre of the development, with a garden that will be open to the public during the day. This space will be accessed via new covered pathways linking Rathbone Place and Newman Street.
This is an excerpt from the “Fitzrovia Reboot" article from the Jul/Aug 2017 double issue of Perspective magazine.
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