Foster + Partners to design “one of London’s largest timber buildings”

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Foster + Partners to design “one of London’s largest timber buildings”

British studio Foster + Partners has unveiled plans for The William, which will be made from cross-laminated timber and become the studio’s first timber office building in the UK.

The William will be located in Queensway, Bayswater, opposite The Whiteley shopping centre, which Foster + Partners is also redeveloping as part of a wider regeneration of the area.

The building will be located in London’s Bayswater area

The six-storey building will have an exterior informed by the “natural environment”, said property investment management firm Mark, which has secured planning permission for the project. It is named after The Whiteley’s founder William Whiteley.

The William will replace a post-war building and contain 90,000 sq ft (8,361 sq m) of office space as well as 21,000 sq ft (1,950 sq m) of shops.

Double height entrance hall with swinging staircase
It will be Foster + Partner’s first UK timber office building

In addition, it will contain 32 new homes, 11 of which will be affordable. The ground floor will house a double-height lobby with a swinging, sculptural staircase, which will be designed using organic materials.

This floor will also have 11 retail units, designed to mirror the redeveloped The Whiteley across the road.

Terrace with purple flowers
A terrace will overlook The Whiteley across the road

“Bio-diverse” terraces and roofs will provide greenery that will be visible from the street level.

“The William will be built using cross-laminated timber, a highly sustainable method of construction, making it one of London’s largest timber developments in the works,” said Mark.

According to the management firm, The William will achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating and be operationally net-zero carbon once completed.

It will be built using natural and responsible materials.

Interior of the William wooden building
The studio will use natural materials for The William

Work will begin on The William in 2023 with the building due for completion in 2026, while the redevelopment of The Whiteley will be completed in 2024.

When completed, The Whiteley will house 139 residences and twenty new shops, restaurants and cafes as well as Six Sense Hotel. It will also have a cinema and a large-scale gymnasium.

The overall Queensway regeneration project will be completed in 2025 and will deliver seven new buildings in the area.

Other recent timber projects by Foster + Partners include a demountable timber office in Spain and a winery in France.

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