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Government

Met HQ new build

The architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) have been chosen to redesign London’s new police headquarters, it was announced by the Mayor of London, Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) is selling the Metropolitan Police (Met) headquarters, New Scotland Yard, and moving to more modern offices at the iconic Curtis Green building on the Victoria Embankment in 2015. This will then be known as Scotland Yard. A RIBA design competition launched in May 2013, to find a financially viable proposal for the building. AHMM’s winning design envisages a police headquarters that will be more open and accessible and will help the Met to reconnect with the public, whilst respecting the heritage of the Whitehall Conservation Area in which it is sited, according to the organisers.

Key design features include a new public entrance pavilion, extensions to the building itself and the creation of public open spaces. The famous revolving sign will be retained as well as the Eternal Flame and Roll of Honour, at New Scotland Yard in Victoria. AHMM were recently announced as the architect for the new Google headquarters at King’s Cross.

The redevelopment of the Curtis Green building forms part of the largest ever transformation of the police estate says the Met. The cost to the Met if they were to remain at NSY would be around £30m, with £50m additional spend needed for it to meet the specifications for a modern policing operation. By moving to the new site and cutting costs, the Met are able to invest in frontline policing, and develop facilities like a new police training centre in Hendon, says the Met.

The move to Curtis Green is part of the MOPAC/MPS Estate Strategy to update its underused and outdated estate. These changes will see a reduction of up to 300,000 sq m – a third of its overall size – helping to reach the Met target of saving £500m per year by 2015/16.

The Met will now work with AHMM to develop the designs further before a planning application is submitted in 2014. Completion of the site is expected in 2015.

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh said: “Scotland Yard is returning to its historical home in Whitehall. The new, smaller Met HQ will help deliver a 21st century police force and AHMM’s design, which includes a public space, will help Londoners to reconnect with the Met.

“By selling outdated and impractical buildings like the New Scotland Yard that are costly to maintain, we can reduce property running costs. The money raised from the sale of these buildings will be ploughed back into frontline policing so that our officers are equipped with the tools and technology they need to fight crime and to continue to keep London safe.”

Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan Howe said: “Scotland Yard is an internationally recognised and highly respected brand and the architects final designs for the building will, we hope, reflect and enhance this status.

“Whilst providing modern, efficient and secure premises for our staff, the move will release substantial sums to be reinvested back in to other policing services. This is a significant and exciting move for us and marks the new era of 21st century policing for the MPS. It allows us to save money while improving our estate.”

Paul Monaghan, Director, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris said: “We are delighted to have won the competition to design the new HQ for the Metropolitan Police within the historic setting of the Curtis Green building. This is a very important project for AHMM with the opportunity to work with one of the most significant and longest established law enforcement bodies in the world. We look forward to working with the Metropolitan Police Service to develop a building that supports them in their changing role within the city.”

And Bill Taylor, RIBA Competitions Adviser said: “Through the careful extension of the public realm across the site and consideration of its neighbours in massing and materiality terms, these proposals will serve to strengthen this cohesion. ‘Weaving’ the heritage and culture of the Metropolitan Police into the fabric of the building and the spaces that surround it, the proposals strike a balance between respect for what already exists and the desire of the client to present a new, open and progressive face to the community they serve.”


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