Eric Parry Architects secures planning consent for City Temple Quarter

The City of London’s planning committee has given its unanimous approval for City Temple Quarter, a unique mixed-use development in Holborn, London, designed by Eric Parry Architects for MH Viaduct LP (acting through its General Partner Morley GPCO Limited) and City Temple Church working in partnership.

The City Temple Quarter scheme, which includes Morley House (26-30 Holborn Viaduct) and City Temple Church (24-26 Holborn Viaduct), represents an opportune upgrade of a block of diverse buildings in Holborn, at the junction of the viaduct and Farringdon Street, nearby Holborn Circus.

Award-winning Eric Parry Architects will deliver a reconfiguration of City Temple Quarter including the demolition of Morley House and erection of a part ground plus seven and nine storey new high-quality hotel complete with restaurant and bar, as well as the adaptation and alternative use of under-utilised church space at lower floors for agile affordable workspace; and the refurbishment and enhancement of the City Temple church for ministry and community purposes.

Morley House, a predominantly office building no longer fit for purpose and in need of extensive refurbishment, will be replaced by a hotel of 191 rooms. The new development will meet the needs of the short stay business and tourist market, providing a new destination on the unique and historic Holborn Viaduct that is ‘complementary’ in its use to the business district of The City and the creative districts of Farringdon and Clerkenwell

City Temple, a Grade II listed building built in 1873 by F.H.Lockwood, and substantially rebuilt by Seely and Paget in early 1950s following extensive fire damage during WWII, will undergo comprehensive internal refurbishment and enhancement of the ground and upper floors to maximise its potential and provide a viable future for the church.

Proposed alterations include a new entrance foyer and remodelling of the ground floor sanctuary/meeting rooms, removal of raked first floor gallery and replacement with two new mezzanine floors and windows to provide flexible work/conference space, including a fully fitted-out 350 seat auditorium and a 125-250 seat conference space available to local businesses and community groups for private hire. Additionally, the third floor will be refurbished to provide meeting rooms/ancillary residential staff accommodation.

The City Temple Quarter will feature high-quality materials and elegant proportions, delivering a thoroughly detailed and long-lasting design while being respectful to the setting of neighbouring listed buildings, including the Southwest Pavilion, a Grade II listed building built in 1863-69 by William Haywood and the Grade I listed Church of St Andrew Holborn, a Sir Christopher Wren church

It will play a key role in the ‘Cultural Quarter’ – an initiative to create a cultural destination in the heart of the City, centred around the new Museum of London at West Smithfield, a proposed concert hall for the London Symphony Orchestra, and a transformation of Beech Street tunnel under the Barbican – offering a unique and truly mixed-use development enabling the refurbishment of the important heritage asset that is City Temple, ensuring that it has the facilities to secure its future as an important religious and community space within the City.

Planning Resolution is the planning consultant on the scheme, successfully securing the necessary planning permissions and listed building consents, and Ecclesiastical Exemption Approval.