british architecture practice ORMS has created a mixed-use destination at 81 chancery lane in london. the 50,000 square foot project contains high-end offices, apartments, retail space, and an attractive new arcade.

ORMS chancery lane
all images © marcus peel



the architects placed five floors of contemporary office space and residential units behind a restored victorian facade. the new public passage way between 83 and 84 chancery lane — which once formed an open alleyway — creates a new public intervention. existing bridges linking the two lanes were removed and replaced with a stepped glass and metal infill.

ORMS chancery lane
the in-fill intervention appears to float above the alleyway between 83 and 84 chancery lane



the new facade, constructed from faceted aluminum panels, changes appearance according to the movement of the sun throughout the day. with its jewel-like quality, the building creates a contrast with the neighboring victorian buildings.

ORMS chancery lane
the faceted aluminum facade has the appearance of a glistening jewel



at ground level, full height glazed shop fronts create an engaging street frontage, while the new passageway links the project to the nearby bishops court. the new retail space, delivered in two larger units and three smaller boutiques, has been designed to attract high-end retailers to chancery lane. ‘chancery lane has long been home to a warren of alleyways, lanes and courtyards and we’re deeply proud that this sensitive transformation has positively reinstated chichester rents and connected it to bishops court‘, write the architects. 

ORMS chancery lane
the retail spaces have been designed to attract high-end retailers to chancery lane

ORMS chancery lane
the transformation reinstates chichester rents and connects it to bishops court

ORMS chancery lane
the building appears to float over the alleyway

ORMS chancery lane
the facade is faceted with anodised aluminium panels

ORMS chancery lane
ORMS has undertaken careful retention to the victorian facades, enhancing them with terracotta fins

ORMS chancery lane
the new modern silhouette contrasts with the victorian architecture

ORMS chancery lane
full height glazed shop fronts activate a lively street frontage



project info: 


location: 79-86 chancery lane, london, wc2a 1dd
type of project: mixed-use
client: raingate limited
architect: ORMS
planning consultant: indigo planning
project manager: buro4
structural engineer: waterman group
m&e consultant: URS
quantity surveyor: turner & townsend
lighting consultant: hoare lee
main contractor: chorus group
start on site date: november 2013
completion date: april 2017
gross internal floor area: 5,340 sqm
total cost: £13m