Wellington House is a brand-new retail and commercial space, located in the heart of Wimbledon’s commercial district. The subject of major investment to help regenerate what had been a tired building, the project, spearheaded by London architectural studio MATT Architecture, entailed a wholesale redevelopment of Wellington House – transforming it into one of the most aesthetically arresting properties in central Wimbledon.
Indeed, the aesthetic of the building was central from the outset of the project. Situated on a prominent corner block, it was crucial that the façade of the building was in keeping with the wider local vernacular of the street, with many of the nearby buildings, including the fantastically well-preserved Wimbledon Library, featuring distinctive orange brickwork.
Recognising the importance of using bricks which complement the aesthetics of the wider area, MATT Architecture turned to Ibstock. Juraj Pollak, Technical Director at MATT Architecture, takes up the story: “Sitting on a prominent street corner which serves as a gateway between the hustle and bustle of Wimbledon town centre and the smart Conservation Area next door, Wellington House is an important local landmark. That’s why it was so important for us to use the right brickwork in the development.
“Using the original Victorian brickwork of the well-preserved local library as a starting point, we needed bricks which combined the right colour with attractive texture – something we initially thought would have to be handmade; a factor which would have significantly ramped up the costs of the project. Thankfully, we found an eye-catching, but cost-effective, solution in Ibstock’s Berkshire Orange.
“Well-matched to existing brickwork in the area, the Berkshire Orange have been used to great effect across Wellington House – affording the property a classic, yet distinctly contemporary, finish. What’s more, Ibstock also provided us with standard and curved variants of the Berkshire Orange, which enabled the bricks to be laid in a curve – a primary consideration given the unique location of the building. Additionally, they produced frogless specials to enable us to mirror the sawtooth pattern on the Victorian buildings of Wimbledon High School across the road.
“We’re incredibly proud of the end result. Wellington House’s new façade, which combines iconic brickwork with green glazed ceramics, brings to mind the image of a classic Victorian corner pub; both in keeping with, yet enhancing, the local area’s aesthetics. Indeed, the finished project has proven so popular that Wellington House was chosen as the cover image for the ‘Living With Beauty’ report, published this year by the Government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.”
Manufactured at Ibstock’s state-of-the-art production facility in Laybrook, the Berkshire Orange range combine aesthetic appeal with durability and flexibility, making them one of the most popular products in the Ibstock range.
Photo credits: Will Pryce