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The Kensington Building

Building story

On a prominent corner position fronting Kensington High Street, this site was originally home to the prestigious Victorian department store and drapers, Pontings. In the 1970s it became a Brutalist structure, its ‘crude’ concrete facades eroding the street’s traditional lines. Read about its incredible and award-winning transformation in the Architects Journal here

Key info
Location: 1 Wrights Lane, Kensington
Size: 94,734 sq ft with 12,329 sq ft of terraces
No. of Occupiers: 3
BREEAM: Excellent
Architects: Pilbrow & Partners
Awards: 2023 BCO National Awards Highly Commended: Refurbished/Recycled category; 2023 BCO London Awards Regional Winner: Refurbished/Recycled category

A former department store repurposed into a thoroughly modern take on office space, The Kensington Building is an extraordinary, advanced and people-centric space very much at home on one of London’s most prestigious streets.



Seconds from High Street Kensington Underground with light-filled space on every level and ceiling heights that top five metres, The Kensington Building provides over 50 percent more volume than a typical office building. Its crowning glory; the wrap-around plant-filled roof terraces which span a quarter of an acre. 

Repurposing a relic

Award-winning for its sustainable approach to construction by retaining and recycling much of the existing structure, the building has excellent environmental credentials. 100% of excavation waste was diverted from landfill as well as 99% of construction and demolition waste. Repurposing the building’s frame saved the equivalent carbon of 7,200 return flights from London to New York. And, all of its electricity comes from a renewable source.

Inspiring Art

The reception features an original artwork, ‘Sphere 14’ by assemblage artist Lesley Hilling incorporating repurposed fragments of marble, wood and metal. “The piece is about memory and the passage of time,” says the artist, a fitting tribute to a site that has undergone several rebirths over the last two centuries.  

A Sense of Space

Huge floor to ceiling windows, five metres high, channel natural light throughout the building and create a vast sense of space. Whilst the building's densely planted 12,000 sq ft wrap-around terraces offer easy outdoor access high above the hustle and bustle of the street below.

Leading Location

Kensington High Street, in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, is one of London’s leading retail destinations. Stretching from Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, it traverses the capital’s most exclusive streets. Once famed for its fashionable markets and department stores, huge flagships meet high street favourites and independent boutiques with a thriving foodie scene, home to the best restaurants and bars in town. 

Building stories