Heal’s completes TCR renovation

Heal’s has completed the mult-million pound renovation of its Tottenham Court Road flagship store, including the restoration of the 1960’s extension.

The project was completed by the official opening of the store’s third staircase – by Matthew Hilton and his studio.

As one of the central focusses to the design of the new store, the addition of Hilton’s staircase had to sit sensitively alongside original architectural features of the Grade II listed building including two other protected staircase designs from the early 1900’s.

Completing Heal’s trio of staircases within the London store, Hilton’s minimalistic steel and timber-framed addition documents a more modern and industrial feel for the store. It joins Cecil Brewer’s famous spiralling design at the rear of the building, which was installed in 1916 and has since become one of London’s most photographed staircases, in addition to Sir Edward Maufe’s Lenscrete creation, which formed part of the store’s southern extension between 1936-1938.

Sitting centrally in the extended ground-floor showroom and in prime-view of the store’s extended window facade, the Hilton staircase now seamlessly connects to the lower-ground level, allowing for an uninterrupted flow of customers across the two floors.

‘We wanted to keep the structure as light as possible, so we created a cantilevered staircase coming off two central structural pillars with louvres that you can see through. There’s a softness to it, with hidden elements that can only been seen when using it. It’s a quiet and restrained design with no superfluous details – everything has a purpose,’ says Hilton.

The installation completes a major remodelling of the store, which saw Heal’s – for the first time in 40 years – extend back into its 1962 Fitzroy Robinson extension. The street-level presence doubled to 100m, with the ground floor and lower-ground floor showroom spaces reconnecting to span more than 49,000sqft.

‘The staircases at our flagship are engrained into the evolution of the store over the past 200 years and have become beacons in their own right as pillars of design and architecture, helping to shape our history,’ says Hamish Mansbridge, Heal’s ceo.

‘The addition of this third staircase was such a core design feature for the store extension that it only seemed right to entrust the job to Matthew, who is a testament to modern British design and whose vision completely aligned with the experience of what we were hoping to achieve for our customers.

‘We are proud of our role as London’s original furniture retailer, and in returning to Fitzroy Robinson’s extension and investing in our physical store, we’re not only illustrating our commitment to bricks and mortar retail, but also to Tottenham Court Road, re-establishing it as London’s furniture street.’

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