British studio Foster + Partners has unveiled plans for The William, which will be built from cross-laminated timber and will 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 the Bayswater area of London Real estate investment management firm Mark, which has secured planning permission for the project, said the six-storey building’s exterior would be informed by the “natural environment”. It is named after William Whiteley, the founder of The Whiteleys. The William will replace the post-war building and will have 90,000 sq ft (8,361 sq m) of office space as well as 21,000 sq ft (1,950 sq m) of shops
This will be Foster + Partners’ first UK timber office building In addition, it will include 32 new homes, of which 11 will be affordable. The ground floor will feature a double-height lobby featuring a swooping, sculptural staircase, designed using organic materials. The floor will also house 11 retail units, designed to mirror the redeveloped The Whiteley on the other side of the road.
A terrace overlooking The Whiteley across the street
The “bio-diverse” roofs and terraces will provide greenery that will be visible from street level.
– The William will be constructed using cross-laminated timber, a highly sustainable method of construction, making it one of London’s largest timber developments, said Mark.
According to the management firm, William will achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating and once completed will be operationally net-zero carbon.
It will be made using natural and responsibly sourced ingredients. The studio will use natural materials for The William Work will start on The William in 2023 and the building will be completed in 2026, while the redevelopment of The Whiteley will be completed in 2024.
On completion, The Whiteley will have 139 residences and twenty new shops, restaurants and cafes as well as the Six Senses Hotel. It will also have a cinema hall and a big gym.
The overall Queensway production project is due for completion in 2025 and will deliver seven new buildings in the area. Other recent wood projects from Foster + Partners include a demountable wood office in Spain and a winery in France.