Former car showroom transformed into mega London HQ

The restoration and extension of a former Ford Motor and Citroën garage and showroom in Hammersmith has been completed.

The Grade II listed building at 184 Shepherds Bush Road now forms the new European headquarters of customer science company dunnhumby.

The project has retained the architecture of the existing three-storey industrial building while creating an additional three floors of office space within a diagrid glazed structure. It now provides 115,000 ft² over six floors.

The building was redeveloped by Westerland Real Estate and designed by ColladoCollins Architects and engineering consultancy Hilson Moran.

The facade and some internal aspects of the building – the former ground floor showroom, first floor sales office, linking staircase, hall and landing, and associated toilets – have been preserved. The existing loading bay canopy at the rear of the building has been partially converted into a new conservatory.

The 50,000 ft² extension features a diagrid glass roof. This presented several challenges in terms of predicting occupant comfort so Hilson Moran undertook extensive modelling of internal conditions and air distribution to inform the design and establish the right volume of shading needed for the glass. Due to the curved shape of the extension, there was limited space for plant at roof level and so a central plant on the roof serves the top three floors. The air distribution to the lower three floors is managed by additional distributed plants, where more height is available.

Martin Murphy, Director at Hilson Moran, who designed the MEP and acted as sustainability, acoustic and vertical transportation consultant on the project, said:

“Complex redevelopment schemes such as this require modelling and analysis to ensure the right building services systems and solutions are in place to create an optimum workspace, in this case both in the new extension and in the historic listed building. Working with ColladoCollins, we have created a high quality environment for dunnhumby’s team.”

Roy Collado, Partner at ColladoCollins Architects said:

“This is an exciting and sensitive reimagining of an important local landmark. Its history as a car showroom and garage means its high ceilings and use of space were ideal for conversion into a 21st century office and the new three storey roof extension provides a nod to the future as we protect the past. When it was built in 1915/6, records indicate that the original plan was for it to be taller, but the First World War shortage of cement meant it stopped at three storeys, so in a way we are finishing off the building a century later.”

Mark Powell from dunnhumby said:

“We have designed a space in this historic building which reflects our unique culture and provides the perfect place for our business to innovate and grow. We are excited about the opportunities that our new home will bring for our people and the company as we invest in our future and reconfirm our commitment to west London.”