LONDON-The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has approved Land Securities proposed redevelopment of the 1960s Empress State Building in Earls Court. The 430,000-sf tower has been unoccupied for three years since it was vacated by the Ministry of Defence.

Under the plans drawn up by architects Wilkinson Eyre and structural engineers Anthony Hunt, the existing, tri-cornered structure with curved facades will be retained. But the entire building will be re-clad and the existing floor plates will be extended by 16ft on one elevation to provide 16,150-sf floorplates. At the same time three extra storeys will be added at the top of the building creating two levels of spectacular penthouse offices and one level of flexible space for exhibition, office and corporate functions.

Mike Griffiths, Chief Executive at Land Securities Development, said: ‘The new design aims to restore the Empress State Building, giving it a contemporary appearance, more worthy of its landmark status on the skyline.’ Works will start later this year with completion scheduled in 2003.

Land Securities plans to use the Empress State Building to pioneer a new approach to leasing, called LandFlex. A large part of the Empress State Building will be offered on flexible terms and occupiers will be able to choose from a wide range of on-site services, including broadband wiring, catering and business support services.

Francis Salway, Chief Executive at Land Securities Portfolio Management said: ‘The LandFlex concept aims to fill a niche between the highly-branded serviced office environment and the traditional long lease.’ He said the concept would also be rolled out at a number of other Land Securities properties.

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