Multiplex was identified as preferred bidder last year but has now been formally appointed main contractor for the £400m project at 30 Grosvenor Square.
Multiplex will start main construction works in 2021, the developer said.
The old embassy is being turned into a hotel for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts – to be called The Chancery Rosewood. There will also be retail space. Qatari Diar intends it to be the UK’s first five-star hotel within a BREEAM Excellent sustainability rating.
Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, chief executive of Qatari Diar, said: “The announcement of The Chancery Rosewood name and the award of the contractor appointment to Multiplex marks a significant milestone in the transformation of Grosvenor Square, and is a project that we are extremely proud to be delivering as part of our ongoing investment into UK real estate. Our vision at Qatari Diar is to revitalise this public space through the creation of a world-class hotel destination, and in turn inspire the wider regeneration of central Mayfair.”
Multiplex managing director Callum Tuckett said: “Multiplex is very proud to be awarded the contract for The Chancery Rosewood, continuing the productive relationship we have built with Qatari Diar on their Chelsea Barracks development. We have assembled a fantastic team and look forward to working closely with Qatari Diar to deliver an exceptional new destination in this historic part of Mayfair – safely, sustainably, and to the highest quality standards. Grosvenor Square is a part of London we know very well, having delivered several other projects in the area, and the relationships we have in place will help ensure that we maximise the benefits this project creates for the local community.”
Architect Eero Saarinen’s landmark, built in 1960, previously housed the US Embassy before its relocation across the river to Nine Elms in 2018 and Qatari Diar’s acquisition in 2009. David Chipperfield Architects’ scheme aims to restore Saarinen’s vision of creating a ‘palace on the park’. The building’s original features and mid-century characteristics have been
retained, including its Grade II listed façade and diagrid ceiling, which have been restored and repurposed. In addition to the retained fabric on site, more than 4000 individual elements have been disassembled for cleaning and refurbishment before being reinstalled into the building during the final construction phase. These elements include original details such as stone cladding for the interior, mullions, window handles and most prominently the golden eagle sculpture crowning the building.
David Chipperfield, principal of David Chipperfield Architects, said: “Through this project we are seeking to remain true to Eero Saarinen’s original vision for this building, converting it for a new role that maintains much of its original architectural character and civic presence. It is a great responsibility to work with this piece of young heritage, mediating with the past in order to ensure its future.”