Phillips West 2
Client: Phillips Auctioneers
Date: Completed May 1975
Since 1975 when Phillips Auctioneers became the first client of the partnership, the relationship has continued with further projects including in-occupation refurbishments of Phillips auction rooms in Leeds, and its head quarters in London, where a memorable feature of the scheme was the bold new skysign-the first in Westminster since 1947.
The warehouse at 10 Salem Road was too banal a building to be teased respectfully into another life, so instead its substance – a repetitive steel frame clad in thick masonry with one hole per bay – was perceived as an abstract construction concept waiting to be fleshed out as architecture.
Great chunks were sliced out to from cloistered courts and heaped back to the street frontage as another storey; widebrimmed pantile roofs were perched on top; thick masonry parapets were carved into bull-nosed curves; layers of steelwork were bolted on to pink-painted brickwork; shiny pyramid tank rooms were dropped in a field of flat roof chippings.
The entire process was one of ‘loading up’; ‘stripping back’, the Modern Movement process, never entered into it. For that reason, the warehouse may well have been the first truly post-modern building in London
“In Salem Road, W2, Phillips, the fine art auctioneers, have converted an old warehouse into two custom-built salesrooms of 4,000 sq.ft (370 sq.m) each, two office suites, and seven ‘patio’ houses. The original t-shaped two storey warehouse, ex-Savory and Moore, has been transformed into a quite delightful complex, with a balconied elevation, Spanish style and the terraced houses around the side overlooking cloistered gardens; the whole building is painted sparkling sugar-pink and white, quite startling to come upon as one turns the corner off Moscow Road.”Financial Times, 02 October 1976