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Construction begins on London music venue linking culture and Crossrail

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Construction is underway on two new live music venues and a leisure-filled “urban gallery” in central London, designed by British architects Orms.

The St Giles Circus scheme, which is being overseen by real estate firm Consolidated Developments, will see two new buildings created and two other listed properties refurbished near the crossroads of Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, New Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road.

The larger of the new structures will be a 36,000sq ft (3,344sq m) curated space featuring a mixture of exhibition rooms, offices, residences, bars, restaurants, a hotel and a 2,000 capacity music venue in the basement. The four-storey building has been designed with a fully retractable facade and a glass enclosure providing shelter to a public courtyard.

A second building of 16,000 sq ft (1,486sq m) will also include a mix of retail and leisure, including a rooftop bar and a 280 capacity grassroots music venue. Public realm will flow in and around the two sites.

Orms are also restoring a rare seventeenth century house at 26 Denmark Street and The Smithy, another music venue, one of London’s smallest, at 22 Denmark Place.

The overall St GIles Circus scheme will be located next to a station for Crossrail – the forthcoming train line running between London and the south east – which is expected to significantly increase footfall in the neighbourhood.

Richard Metcalfe, a consultant at Consolidated Developments, said: “St Giles Circus is set to continue as an internationally recognised destination for music commerce, culture, creativity and inspiration, set in the heart of London.

“Having achieved consent, the final piece of the jigsaw is complete and we will continue to deliver a diverse scheme that showcases leading international culture in an iconic setting known for its creativity and flair.”

Orms director John McRae added: “St Giles builds on the area’s music heritage which has built up over the past 60 years by bringing back a major music venue that has been missing since the closure of the Astoria [concert arena] to accommodate Crossrail.

“We’re delighted to have started onsite at St Giles – this is an extremely exciting scheme and will provide such a diverse range of uses to this significant central London location.”

The practice are collaborating on the project with landscape architect Robert Myers, structural engineer Engenuiti and main contractor Skanska. Full completion of the scheme is scheduled for January 2020.

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Construction is underway on two new live music venues and a leisure-filled “urban gallery” in central London, designed by British architects Orms.
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