Nova

London SW1

Architect/Designer:
Benson + Forsyth, PLP Architecture, Flanagan Lawrence Architects, Lynch Architects and KPF
Client:
Land Securities
Main Contractor:
Mace
Completion Date:
March 2017
Portland Stone:
Bowers Whitbed
Scope of Project:
External cladding to the redevelopment of the formerly known Victoria Circle in London’s West End as part of Land Securities’ £2.2 billion re-invention of the area.

Nova is the defining moment in Land Securities’ £2.2 billion re-invention of Victoria. Creating a new link between Victoria Station, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Parks, it is an 897,000 square feet mixed use scheme on a 5.5 acre island site.

Architect Benson + Forsyth specified Bowers Whitbed for the stone cladding as, having used it on a previous development at the National Gallery of Ireland, they were confident it’s technical performance and aesthetic appearance for a project of this scale.

Throughout the stone procurement process, the project team kept in close contact with Albion Stone for technical advice. During a visit to Portland to view the extraction operations, a stone range for the project was agreed using Albion Stone’s quality control sample panels.  Approximately 4,300m² of Bowers Whitbed was supplied as 75mm thick cladding panels in sizes up to 1,764mm x 882mm.  

The north and south ends of the building feature 8 storey high “flying walls” which cantilever from the building façade with a “weightless” appearance.  Albion Stone provided a crucial solution for the challenging fixing system by creating a hidden recess in the top and the bottom of each stone. This concealed the stone contractor's bespoke bracketry behind the open jointing.

Alan Forsyth of Benson+Forsyth LLP said: 
"All the stone was cut and prepared by Albion and installed by Szerelmy. The finished job is quite superb. The curved wall at the way through the building is in itself a minor masterpiece in terms of the perfection of its fabrication and installation. 
Gordon and I could not be more delighted and we want to thank you and, through you, to thank our team for the contribution that Albion has made to the external appearance of the building. 
We are most grateful."

Construction of Nova, Victoria started in June 2013 and was completed in 2017.