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The Construction of Ilona Rose House

Complex temporary works and sustainable cladding solutions are required in the construction of the striking new Ilona Rose House development in London’s Soho district.

Delivering via a Construction Management appointment, we are proud to be building this mixed-use development which features bespoke technical spaces and studios. 

The unique, purpose-built accommodation, specific to Soho Estates’ tenants needs, will anchor the film and creative industries in Soho for many years to come.

Ilona Rose House will deliver outstanding new shops and restaurants, along with new pedestrian walkways, public realm and roof terraces. 

The building will contain high-quality office space, retail, restaurants, art gallery/art education use, a nightclub and eight apartments. The scheme consists of basements, ground floor and part eight upper storeys, plus rooftop plant, with frontages to Charing Cross Road and Manette Street.

The 12-13 Greek Street façade will be fully restored, and this part of the development will function as a stand-alone building at its entrance. There will be new public realm and a new pedestrian route through the site from Manette Street to Greek Street.

Thanks to its striking GRC cladding – patinated brass on the lower floors and rose-patterned pale pink higher up – and cantilevered front façade on a 60T Vierendeel truss, Ilona Rose House really stands out from the crowd of commercial buildings in London.



Project summary

    • Client: Soho Estates
    • Sectors: Commercial, Leisure
    • Location: London
    • Services: McAlpine Design Group, Construction Management, Façades

Complex temporary works systems to protect the local community

Ilona Rose House’s four-storey basement is the key challenge for our team, not only because of its depth, but also because it combines a steel frame with concrete slabs, calling for careful coordination between steel and concrete subcontractors in a confined space.

Like many projects in central London, the Ilona Rose House site is surrounded by third-party assets that we need to protect and work around. An Underground line and a Thames Water sewer run metres from the site boundary, and there is a Crossrail I site to the north, as well as a planned Crossrail II site to the west.

Additionally, one of our neighbouring buildings, the House of St Barnabas, contains a richly decorated chapel dating from the 1860s. As part of the measures implemented to protect the chapel, and our other neighbours, McAlpine Design Group were involved in developing a removal sequence that both saved money and improved the overall programme.

Developing a sustainable striking cladding solution

The project includes multiple façade types, including the striking pale pink cladding on the upper floors of the building. Our team identified that the original UHPC (ultra high performance concrete) panels would be heavy to lift, and as a new technology presented a risk to the project.

We have worked with the client and the architect to identify the best alternative, like a pressed metal panel and finalising on a glass reinforced concrete panel (GRC), which presented a significant value engineering opportunity.

Project features 

  • Box-in-box recording studios in the basement for Warner Bros – floating concrete slabs jacked up on numerous acoustic bearing jacks and full isolation of wall and services

  • 5-storey high glazed cone providing a unique architectural feature as well as bringing fresh air into the building

  • Ilona Rose House is a Beacon Project – pushing the boundary of data gathering and analytics

  • Ground Source Heat Pump system providing a percentage of free heating and cooling to the building and photovoltaic panels providing electricity


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