Covering 44,000 sq ft of space over four floors and with 26 staircases, 121 Regent Street is home to the largest ever Burberry store that is hailed as the most technologically advanced high fashion store.
Located in the heart of London’s retail district, the Burberry global flagship store is twice the size of its New York counterpart and occupies a sizable chunk of the handsome west side of Nash’s Regency curve. The premises were originally built in 1820 for the Prince Regent and have previously occupied a livery stable, a cinema, and two retail stores that Burberry now replaces.
Following 2 years of extensive renovations that utilised 51 British specialists and 300,000 man hours, the flagship London store opened in September 2012. Housed in a Grade II listed building, the historic venue is set against the brand's technologically-forward ethos to create a multi-media experience that combines the Burberry’s digital experience into a physical space. The technologically advanced high fashion store includes a 22ft-high screen, 500 hidden speakers and a hydraulic stage.
Working to a tight timeframe of nine months, Ramboll was involved with the structural engineering of the 44,000 sq ft store, linking what had been four separate retail premises into Burberry’s new flagship store. The project involved careful and sensitive heritage engineering creating new openings in the load-bearing masonry structure, adding a partial mezzanine floor to the old cinema auditorium and creating level trading spaces above the existing raked seating in the auditorium.
The Ramboll team added 8 lifts and 26 stone-clad feature staircases - one extending over four storeys. Utilising a structural concept that Ramboll first used for the New York Burberry store, the stair structures were remodelled by inserting cantilever steel arms at strategic points to reduce the stair depth to achieve the vision required by the designers.
Ramboll engineered the support structure for one of the world’s largest indoor video screens, the shop front and various structures for the M & E and storage facilities at the back of house. The Ramboll team also found, exposed, and reinforced an existing roof light over what was originally art gallery space.
Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey commented:
"Burberry Regent Street is one of the most architecturally and culturally significant projects we have undertaken. In renovating this iconic London building we have worked with some of the UK's finest craftsmen to restore a wealth of historic features, at the same time as pushing the boundaries of digital technology. The result is a space defined by contrasts: at once imposing and intimate, its juxtaposition of craft and innovation is designed to delight, surprise and entertain.’’