Barr Gazetas has transformed Regent Street’s Quadrant Arcade
Working in partnership with the Crown Estate, architect Barr Gazetas has completed the transformation of a grade-II-listed arcade on Regent Street into an elegant new retail destination for London’s West End.
The partnership between the Crown Estate and Barr Gazetas has revitalised Regent Street’s only arcade, while maintaining its unique historic character, to create a flagship piece of retail space and public realm. Running between Regent Street and Glasshouse Street, Quadrant Arcade was originally created in 1928 behind the original Nash facade. Despite its characterful interwar classical design it had never fully realised its potential; a low, undistinctive entrance way meant that it was easily missed by passers‐by, and the interior lacked natural light.
Barr Gazetas has finely balanced the restoration of historic features with a sensitive redesigning of the interior, flooding it with natural light and giving it its own unique identity as a destination within the bustling shopping district of Regent Street.
Street-facing shop fronts have been redesigned with a continuous glazed curve and a bronze portal frames a new opening, creating an entrance that marks Quadrant Arcade as a destination. The entrance height has also been adjusted, allowing natural light to stream into the space, and bespoke fully-removable screens create an elegant closure out of shopping hours. The Glasshouse Street entrance features a large automatic-sash glass screen that lights up at the touch of a finger and is concealed behind the renovated metal screen when open to permit the uninhibited flow of people.
The listed interiors of the arcade have been carefully restored, using bronze, glass and timber to create a smooth, contemporary feel, without detracting from the historic elegance of the space. A bespoke terrazzo tiled floor – its design influenced by tiles found in Pompeii – gives a subtle sense of grandeur with a nod to the heyday of Regency arcades. New timber shop fronts throughout provide attractive display spaces for retailers.
Barr Gazetas worked closely with lighting designer Jason Bruges Studio to create a series of contemporary statement lights in the form of a parabolic quadrant, inspired by John Nash’s Quadrant, which are suspended the length of the arcade’s ceiling. A system of focused lighting transforms the ornately detailed elevations of the shopfronts.
The colour palette for the arcade, a crisp yet subtle selection of heritage tones, was developed to enhance the period features of the space whilst giving it an undeniably contemporary edge, creating an elegant, sophisticated retail environment.