Apple Store, Bedford Chambers

Covent Garden

Date of construction: 1877-1879

Original architect: Henry Clutton

Client: Apple Inc

Bedford Chambers is a grade II listed building and forms part of the late Victorian reincarnation of Inigo Jones’s 17th century piazza. Built by William Cubitt to the designs of Henry Clutton, Bedford Chambers is five storeys high above street level plus an attic. The building, which is situated in the Covent Garden Conservation Area, retains an elegant open arcade of eight bays separated by rusticated pilasters atop granite bases.

Julian Harrap Architects was appointed by lead architect Gensler to act as consultant conservation architect for the complex refurbishment of the building into a 1,400sq m store for the technology giant, Apple. JHA provided consultancy advice for the works that affected the historic fabric of Bedford Chambers. This included interior brick cleaning, the meticulous repair of the different types of brickwork, which included gault bricks and grey tuck pointing, and external works to the façade and roofs.

The refurbishment of this historic building provides three floors of retail and features exposed brickwork, generous uninterrupted spaces, a restrained palette of materials, two new glass stairs and a large glazed roof over a courtyard that was engineered by Eckersley O’Callaghan.

An understated store with a warehouse quality has been created, which still conveys the character of Henry Clutton’s original design.