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29 June 2020

Earls Court appoints Hawkins/Brown and Studio Egret West as joint masterplan architects for Central London’s final remaining major Zone 1 development

  • Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West have been appointed as the principal masterplan architects for the Earls Court masterplan, one of London’s most strategically important development opportunities, which will deliver a combination of London homes, and commercial space, alongside green and cultural spaces.
  • The Earls Court Development Company supported by Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West will produce a masterplan that delivers a new global standard for sustainable, mixed-use development.

The Earls Court Development Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West as the principal masterplan architects for the Earls Court development site. The appointment is a 50/50 collaboration between Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West. The London based firms will support The Earls Court Development Company in seeking to deliver a masterplan that sets a new global standard for a sustainable and vibrant mixed-use development. The ambition is greater than the provision of buildings alone: it is to create an environment that is reintegrated with its surroundings for the first time in 100 years and in doing so embraces the hopes and aspirations for the local community and the area.

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“We are delighted to be working with the London practices of Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West on the emerging plans for Earls Court, an iconic and globally recognised part of London’s landscape.”

Jamie Ritblat,
Founder and CEO of Delancey

Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West’s involvement represents an exciting new milestone for the site, the majority interest of which was acquired by Delancey on behalf of its client fund and the Dutch pension fund manager, APG in Dec 2019. Following the handing back of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates (the estates) to London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the estates will not be included in the masterplan and there is a clear opportunity for a fresh approach at Earls Court with the site ready for development. The brief provided to architects called for a significantly more mixed-use environment than previous plans, so that more commercial space is simultaneously delivered alongside a revised housing plan, and a design and spatial approach based on collaboration and consultation with key stakeholders and the local community.

The appointment follows a six-month international competition involving world-leading architectural practices. Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West have a long-standing partnership with a proven track record across a large number of developments, including numerous projects in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West’s partnership and considerate approach complements and reflects The Earls Court Development Company’s collaborative ethos and ambitions.

In the six months since the acquisition, The Earls Court Development Company has been meeting and listening to the local community, including virtual meetings during the coronavirus lockdown, to harness the energy, ideas and commitment of all, to start forming an informed ‘vision’ for the masterplan. The Earls Court Development Company has also been mobilising a wider project team to support the project across a range of disciplines, and further appointments of industry leading partners will be made imminently.

The Earls Court Development Company is based at Earls Court and is responsible for driving the development forward on behalf of the Earls Court Partnership Limited, the joint venture between Delancey’s investors and Transport for London. This critical site is London’s largest Zone 1 development opportunity, located close to three London Underground stations with direct connections to the City, West End and Heathrow Airport, and has the potential to deliver a world-class mixed used development in this vibrant part of Central London.

The Earls Court Development Company and project team will now work on developing the masterplan, with initial details emerging in the coming months.

Jamie Ritblat, on behalf of The Earls Court Development Company, said:
“We are delighted to be working with the London practices of Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West on the emerging plans for Earls Court, an iconic and globally recognised part of London’s landscape. We believe we understand how important it is that our masterplan recognises the past and celebrates the future of Earls Court and of London. As the current custodians of the project, we and the masterplan architects place engagement with the local community and wider stakeholders at the heart of our approach to design and development and alongside Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West we will be consulting every step of the way as the plans develop.”

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at Transport for London, said:
“It is great news that Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West have been appointed as masterplan architects at Earls Court. This is a unique opportunity, and we are all excited at being able to work with local people to create a vibrant, active and sustainable community in London, including the affordable homes and workspace that the capital so desperately needs.”

Roger Hawkins and David West on behalf of Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West, said:
“We are honoured to be appointed to draw up a vision for the future of Earls Court. Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West have enjoyed a long-term, collaborative relationship that has resulted in impactful projects such as the ongoing regeneration of Park Hill in Sheffield, the unlocking of East Croydon interchange and more recently, the evolution of Smithfield Market and wider public realm. We believe that our common values, complimentary skills, passion for place making, people-first and landscape led approach will bring forth an inclusive and successful transformation of this globally-recognised part of West London.”

Stephen Cowan, Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, said:
“The Earls Court scheme has huge potential as it’s probably the most exciting site in the UK and can become an important attribute to our economic strategy which aims to make Hammersmith & Fulham a global hotspot in the new world economy of STEM industries and digital media. Delancey’s approach has been right at every turn and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with them and working with Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West.”

Notes to Editors

About The Earls Court Development Company
The Earls Court Development Company is the new Earls Court-based business, responsible for driving the development of the Earls Court masterplan forward on behalf of Earls Court Partnership Limited. The Earls Court Development Company’s ambition is to seek a new visionary masterplan for the site, that stitches the Earls Court back into its local area and sets a new global standard for a sustainable, vibrant mixed-use development. The Earls Court Development Company will be delivering and developing the 25-acre former Earls Court Exhibition Centre site. The vision also seeks to extend the masterplan to include the Lillie Bridge Depot land, thereby increasing the development site to 40 acres. Following the handing back of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates (the estates) to London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the estates will not be included in the masterplan. There is now a clear opportunity for a fresh approach at Earls Court with the former exhibition centre sites ready for development.
www.theearlscourtdevelopmentcompany.com

About the Earls Court Partnership Limited
The Earls Court Partnership Limited is the joint venture between Delancey (on behalf of its client fund and the Dutch pension fund manager, APG) and Transport for London (TfL). The majority interest in the site was acquired by Delancey (on behalf of its client fund and the Dutch pension fund manager, APG) in December 2019.
www.theearlscourtdevelopmentcompany.com

About Delancey
Delancey is a specialist real estate investment, development and advisory company whose activities encompass retail, residential and commercial real estate across London and the UK. Collaborating on a wide range of assets, partners and clients, Delancey is recognised for its innovative and diverse approach to creating long term value from real estate. Delancey also advises clients on appropriate capital structures, financing and provides asset management and development services. Delancey has a diverse portfolio of retail, residential, office and corporate assets across London and the UK, including the Alpha Plus schools group. Delancey is also a pioneer in the private rented sector and has spent much of the last few years bringing the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics to life; it is delivering over 3,000 homes for rent at the multi-award-winning neighbourhood East Village, the former London 2012 Athletes Village in Newham. Delancey has an extensive history in advising joint venture partnerships and aims to involve partners who can bring operating expertise, capital or access to direct and indirect property investments. Notable joint venture partners include The Crown Estate, Land Securities Group, Ares and British Land. Operating with a high standard of regulatory compliance and corporate governance, Delancey is a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in the US and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) in the UK.
www.delancey.com

About Transport for London
Earls Court is one of the key sites to be part of TfL’s housing programme, which will provide thousands of homes across the capital and includes a commitment to deliver 50 per cent affordable housing on average across all sites brought to the market since May 2016. Work has already started on almost 1,400 homes in the capital, as the programme continues to build momentum. For more information about TfL’s housing programme, please visit:
www.tfl.gov.uk/info-for/business-and-commercial/property-development

About Hawkins\Brown
Hawkins\Brown is an international architecture practice championing a collaborative, people-first approach to projects across a range of sectors, which inform their mixed-use masterplanning work. Recently completed projects include Here East, the 1.2 million sq ft workplace campus in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and they are currently working on the public realm vision for the Grade II*-listed Smithfield Market complex. Alongside their work in architecture, design and planning, Hawkins\Brown conducts industry leading research on key topics such as sustainability and social value. Practice co-founder Roger Hawkins was appointed as a Mayor’s Design Advocate for London in 2017.
www.hawkinsbrown.com

About Studio
Egret West Studio Egret West are a practice of urban designers, architects and landscape architects who bring a combination of pragmatism and poetry to place making. The 70 strong team has worked on numerous complex regeneration schemes throughout the UK and abroad that create a blend of living, learning, working and playing environments. These include large scale framework plans for the transformation of The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes; New Bermondsey in South London; Eastwick and Sweetwater adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London; Digbeth in Birmingham and Mayfield in Manchester.
www.studioegretwest.com

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