10 July 2019

The Crown Estate reveals plans for the refurbishment of Grade II-listed New Zealand House

The Crown Estate, working closely together with the New Zealand Government, has unveiled plans for the refurbishment of Grade II-listed New Zealand House. The landmark 18-storey 1960s building, located at 80 Haymarket in St James’s, is one of the tallest buildings in the West End. The newly revealed plans also outline proposals for the refurbishment of the Grade I-listed Royal Opera Arcade, which is adjacent to the site.  


Designed by Robert Matthew, Johnson Marshall & Partners, New Zealand House is an iconic building and gained Grade II-listed status in 1995. It was London’s first air-conditioned building and the first to have continuous glazing on all elevations. Its unique design is characterised by plate glass strip windows and pronounced Portland stone bands.

The Crown Estate seeks to enhance New Zealand House and optimise the potential of the building, which was last refurbished in 1992 and has now reached the end of its commercial life, with poorly utilised and redundant office space unsuited to the needs of modern businesses.  

Oliver Smith, The Crown Estate’s Head of St James’s, said: “New Zealand House is a landmark building for the West End and a modernist icon. Our aim is to sensitively restore both New Zealand House, preserving its original, historic features and positively enhancing the overall surroundings of St James’s. We are pleased to be working closely with the New Zealand High Commission and Government to develop these plans, and are committed to continuing to protect and enhance the long-term future of New Zealand House.”  

New Zealand House comprises four podium levels and a 14-storey main tower, with terraces on the third and top floors. The existing building provides approximately 95,000 sq ft of office accommodation, including the New Zealand High Commission, plus a bar facing onto Haymarket and retail units within the Royal Opera Arcade. The new proposals will provide a similar quantity of office accommodation whilst better separating the space of the New Zealand Government, who will be returning post-completion, from commercial occupiers, and new retail and public bar facilities.

With its refurbishment The Crown Estate will preserve the original design of New Zealand House and restore key features, such as the Grand Stair ceremonial staircase. The interior will be transformed to deliver modern workspaces designed to meet the needs of businesses now and into the future, and The Crown Estate also plans to create a dedicated entrance for office customers on Pall Mall.

The New Zealand Government’s spaces in the building will be sensitively refurbished and consolidated to meet the functional and technological needs of a 21st century High Commission.

As part of its plans, The Crown Estate is also proposing to replace all windows in New Zealand House. The upgraded glazing will deliver improved acoustic and thermal performance, delivering an 80% improvement in the building’s energy performance, thereby reducing its carbon footprint and emissions.

Royal Opera Arcade will also be sensitively refurbished and will continue to offer a series of amenity services for the local business and residential community. The renovations to the arcade will also enhance the connection between Pall Mall, St James’s Market and the broader St James’s area.

The Crown Estate is hosting a public consultation on the plans from 11-12th July 2019 at New Zealand House. Further details on the proposed refurbishment can also be found at: www.newzealandhouse-consultation.co.uk

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