Apt unveil adaptation of 19th Century building in London’s Covent Garden

In the heart of Covent Garden’s Seven Dials Conservation Area stands Chapter House, a beautiful new development, carefully rebuilt by architects Apt to provide 40 wonderfully unique apartments. 

Chapter House was originally designed and built in the late 19th Century by Architects Gibson and Russell. Despite the building’s prestigious location, it lay unoccupied for many years, hindered by tight and unsympathetic accommodation. Londonewcastle were appointed as Development Managers in early 2016 and appointed Apt to reinstate a new building reflective of its potential and location in the centre of London’s theatre land.

Apt have retained the existing buildings street facing façade and demolished the building behind to create a new structure that responds intuitively to the site and its surrounding urban fabric.

The historic elements of the project are carefully balanced with a calm two storey extension of copper-like cladding and elegant balustrades. These contemporary additions are stepped back from the façade line, acting as a backdrop softening their visual impact on the streetscape.

Drawing on its location at the heart of London’s cultural neighbourhood, the interiors of Chapter House are opulent, refined and playful. A large inviting entrance lobby balances the theatrical and sophisticated, materials including warm veneers, padded leather effect concrete, undulating gold curtains and rich deep blue carpet create drama as you enter.

The new two storey extension has increased the accommodation on the site, formerly a four-storey building, it now incorporates six levels of accommodation with private terraces and gardens. These range from studios, one, two and three bed apartments, and two duplex penthouse homes stretching across the upper floors.

Each apartment has its own individual character responding to the unique floor plans, some spaces lie behind gables or within a water tower which adds character and allows for light wells above and unique window arrangements. The new layout improves fluidity of spaces with the use of pure lines, full height finishes such as ceramic, v-joint panelling and doors and cabinets. All are complimented by a bespoke concierge service and intimate gym and training studio.

Quote from Architect

‘The design process has been an exciting and challenging adventure. We feel we have achieved our clients’ brief by creating a distinctive building in the heart of Covent Garden. We have meticulously remodelled and rebuilt Chapter House, bringing a redundant building back to life whilst remaining sympathetic to its historic surrounding. Each apartment within has its own playfulness and individuality to thrill future residents for years to come.’

Stephane Piazza – Apt

Quote from Client

“The architects have turned this building into a beautiful secret gem in the middle of Covent Garden. Whilst the external façade has been carefully restored – it’s only when you enter the building that its new nature can be fully experienced. Experiencing the building is a wonderful journey, from entering the opulent new entrance lobby with its playful notion towards the theatre neighbourhood, discovering a beautifully detailed new façade at the rear of the building, exploring each apartment’s unique and different features and layouts, to the fact that most apartments have their own beautifully landscaped external balconies and terraces.”

Baerbel Schuett – Londonewcastle

Project Team:

Architect: Apt

Client: Londonewcastle

Planning: DP9

Townscape & Heritage: City designer

Landscape Architect: Andy Sturgeon Design

Structural Engineers: AKT II

M&E: Scotch Partners

Cost Consultant: Core 5

Daylight, Sunlight & Party Wall: Point 2 Surveyors

CGI Visualisation: Grain

Building Control: Bureau Veritas

CDM Coordinator: Gardiner & Theobald

Photographer: Jack Hobhouse

Project Data:

Start on site: (Construction) January 2017

Gross internal floor area: (GIA) 47,000 sq.ft

Gross (internal + external) floor area: 52,000 sq.ft

Form of contract or procurement route: D&B

Construction cost: £30 million