The WhatHouse? interview series: We speak to Nikki Gibbard of Helical Bar
Step into the shops, pubs and bars of Smithfield and you’re likely to see a real mix of clientele, from bushy-bearded hipsters to suited-and-booted City professionals. The district’s location, neighbouring the historic creative quarter of Clerkenwell and the commercial HQs of the Square Mile, attracts a truly diverse spectrum of people to work and play, but it’s not really known as a residential quarter.
Developer Helical Bar is certainly hoping to change that with its Barts Square mixed-use scheme, transforming an area right on the edge of Smithfield Market and opposite St Bart’s Hospital. While retaining a number of interesting buildings and facades, the development will also replace some mundane post-war architecture with some high-quality new office space and over 200 stylish new homes.
“Whenever a new central London development site comes to market, there is invariably considerable hype about ‘unique locations’ and ‘once in a lifetime development opportunities’,” says Nikki Gibbard, development executive for Helical Bar, who has been preparing the scheme for release for over four years.
“While these sweeping statements need to be taken with a healthy pinch of salt, it would not be hyperbolic to say that Barts has presented us with a truly fantastic opportunity to create a place like no other.”
Here, she speaks exclusively to Whathouse.com about the company's distinctive approach to creating high-quality homes and a new residential quarter to the Square Mile.
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