Chelsea Barracks & The Complete Reconstruction Of A Historic Part Of London
Chelsea Barracks is an entry in our Great British Brands 2023 book.
Chelsea Barracks: Great British Brand 2023
‘The redevelopment of the 12.8-acre Chelsea Barracks site is a long-term project. When I joined the owners Qatari Diar in 2014 the existing military buildings were being demolished. I’ve seen it from being a hole in the ground to what it has become today. The site, probably the most expensive piece of real estate that has been sold in London, was cleared with the exception of the former Garrison Chapel, now converted into an exhibition space for The Prince’s Foundation.
‘Although predominantly a residential development, Qatari Diar have always been committed to keeping the gardens open to the public. At present, this amounts to 40 percent of the site, comprising mostly the garden squares. I think that the residents want to be connected to the wider local community and the accessibility of the gardens integrates Chelsea Barracks with existing Belgravia. The redevelopment of the site opens up a part of London that has been previously closed to the public for more than 150 years.
‘The emphasis on quality and celebration of British crafts has been an emphasis throughout this project and is evident at every turn, in the design, in the materials used, and in the craftsmanship displayed. For example, the Victorian iron railings that surround the barracks were restored panel by panel over the course of several years at a foundry in Scotland. The townhouses are rendered in Portland stone and have floors of British oak. Garden designer Jo Thompson was commissioned to add inspiration to the gardens and work with Gustafson Porter + Bowman, making them look approachable and established, as if they’d been in place for many years.
‘The development of the site will continue as unobtrusively as possible in the coming years, bringing this forgotten quarter of London back to life, and respecting its history while equipping it for the 21st century.’ Richard Oakes, Executive Director at Qatari Diar responsible for Chelsea Barracks.
After several years of construction, Chelsea Barracks completes its first phase of development, and residents start moving in.
Chelsea Barracks unveils 13 new townhouses, reimagined and evolved from the Georgian archetype into super-prime 21st century homes.
The Prince’s Foundation, HM King Charles’s charity, takes a lease of The Garrison Chapel, and transforms it into a public exhibition space.
The Spring Fair launches to celebrate RHS Chelsea Flower Show, along with bi-annual sculpture trails championing grassroots artists.
The next phase of Chelsea Barracks, 9 Mulberry Square, will launch this autumn, providing 97 apartments and an additional 32,000 sq/ft.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Chelsea Barracks is the site of a former British Army barracks, which for 150 years was home to regiments from the Household Division, and host to royalty.
- Forty percent of the site is allocated to seven publicly accessible garden squares, planted with native species, culinary and medicinal plants. Produce will be given to residents and supply the restaurant.
- Chelsea Barracks was awarded LEED Platinum status in 2021, making it the most sustainable development in Europe and one of only 16 worldwide to attain this status.
- In 2022, celebrated British jeweller Theo Fennell established his new headquarters in Garrison Square.
- The Campaner recently joined Chelsea Barracks, a new eatery from the owners of Martinez restaurant in Barcelona.
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