Peter Jones is an iconic John Lewis Partnership-owned department store which sits in the heart of the Cadogan Estate and Sloane Square Conservation Area in Kensington and Chelsea.

In collaboration with Sergison Bates Architects, Purcell are leading proposals for repairing and enhancing the buildings’ 1930s and 1960s façades, restoring the historic architecture to its former glory.

Impression of the restoration proposals. Image courtesy of Sergison Bates Architects

Peter Jones is composed of Grade II* and Grade II 20th Century listed buildings. The site was refurbished between 1999 and 2004, but since then limited work has been undertaken and the buildings’ façades are in need of extensive restoration.

Our proposals aim to restore and enhance the site’s façades, while ensuring Peter Jones continues to remain a leading retail store and a valued piece of London’s architectural heritage. The project will provide greater public access to the upper two storeys of the site — including its rooftop — which will enable the department store to attract new audiences.

The project is an exciting collaboration. From the beginning, the client identified a great complementary skill set between the practices, with Sergison Bates’s bespoke experience in boutique design and Purcell’s expert understanding of listed buildings, including 20th Century listed buildings.

Liz Smith, Head of Architecture
The building in 2019 before the latest work commenced

Our expertise and understanding of 20th Century buildings has enabled our team to develop a detailed Heritage Statement in addition to a Condition Appraisal of the listed façades which has determined the appropriate interventions to support the restoration and redesign of the site.

Gaining Planning and Listed Building Consent for the project has been very successful and we have achieved overwhelmingly positive comments from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Historic England.

Liz Smith, Head of Architecture
Peter Jones. Impression of the restoration proposals. Image courtesy of Sergison Bates Architects

The project will not only restore Peter Jones's listed façades, but also take the opportunity to upgrade certain aspects of the building — such as its canopy structure — which has been redundant since the 70s. In addition, the ground floor of Peter Jones has one of the longest shop windows in Europe. As part of the project, our team is adding a new doorway into the site to increase access.

In light of the client’s aspirations, a new colour and lighting scheme will be redesigned while the development of a new community garden and bar on the site’s rooftop will increase and diversify the department store's audience.

Having successfully achieved planning permission to address the scheme sensitively, the project will ensure the sustainable longevity of this important landmark and enable the site to continue to be a key community asset in the heart of West London.

Header image credit: Sergison Bates Architects

Like the Schocken stores in Germany that preceded it, Peter Jones’s Modern Movement facades were designed to showcase and sell. The sustainability of that function has been paramount in the conservation effort and from the start, Purcell placed commercial restoration and enhancement at the centre of its arguments for change. The future of this superb building rests on its ability to function for the purpose it was designed for and this project has ensured it has a bright future as a national icon and a local landmark.

Jon Wright, Twentieth Century Heritage Consultant