Boon Brown gains planning permission for challenging pub site in Wandsworth.


Boon Brown is celebrating being granted planning permission and conservation area consent for a challenging development in Battersea which will create five residential apartments whilst reinstating a local Victorian public house. The former Queens Arms public house was closed and then converted to a small shop with vacant premises above until Boon Brown’s successful design converted the building back into a 3590 sq ft pub/restaurant plus one studio and four two-bedroom residential units.

In Boon Brown’s plan for client James Laurence Group, a public house with restaurant and back-of-house facilities will occupy the ground floor and basement, with an extension to the existing first and second floors helping provide space for four apartments.  A new third floor will house one, two-bedroom flat.

Explains Craig Jones of Boon Brown: “To bring back a regarded local asset as well as providing much needed housing has made the Queens Arms project a joy to work on. The Queens Arms had been a public house since it was built in 1865 but closed two years ago. Despite attempts by Wandsworth Council via Article 4 Directions, the pub was converted to a shop and now has planning permission to be converted back to pub use with integrated restaurant. An agreement with a successful local operator to take on the pub and restaurant post refurbishment should secure the future for the Queens Arms.” 

As the Queens Arms is in the Park Town Conservation Area and is included in Wandsworth Borough Council’s ‘local list’ of unlisted buildings of architectural or historic significance, Boon Brown’s design had to be sympathetic to the local heritage context.

Boon Brown’s proposal retains the original built form, with its distinct two-tone ‘public house’ commercial façade, articulated pillasters and arched windows, and the local vernacular and irregular form of the set-back upper floors. An existing ground floor extension will be brought in line with the style of the pub façade, with larger arched openings to serve the apartments’ joint entrance. The simple, bespoke aluminium doors will follow the architectural language of the existing fabric with a contemporary touch.

Above this, a new one storey extension retains the building‘s mellow character, matching the existing elevation as well as the existing brickwork type and colour to create a natural continuity. The original plaster and painted cornice and string courses are continued across the new structure and the windows match the proportions, colours and types of the existing sashes.

 At the second floor, a minimal full glass extension provides interesting perspectives for the studio apartment, while it is incorporated neatly within the dominant character of the building. The third-floor roof extension steps back from the existing parapet and is clad in zinc, with a simple plan form to avoid over-fussy lines. The external walling adopts a mansard arrangement to soften the visual edge.

This success comes just four months after Boon Brown gained planning permission for a contemporary detached house in the yard of the Queens Arms. Work is expected to start on site in late October 2018.


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BDC 318 : Jul 2024