Harrods, the luxury London department store, is undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment the main focus of which is the Basil Street escalator hall, located on the northern side of the building. The spectacular new Harrods escalator opened last November and has been redesigned by Make Architects integrating the store’s rich history and the values of the Harrods brand while maintaining a sense of quality, permanence and timeless continuity. The refurbishment has enhanced the unique architectural qualities of the building using materials, finishes and details that are in keeping with the store’s Edwardian style.
The 16 dramatic new escalators spread over the store’s eight floors are clad in British-made fluted bronze that mirrors the fluting of the stone columns found on the Basil Street exterior. In addition to the new escalators Make installed a new rooflight and completed the full interior fit-out of the hall. All windows, that had been bricked up since the Eighties, have been unblocked and restored, revealing glimpses of the ornate external period detailing and drawing in natural light. The beautiful 1920s staircase has been meticulously restored to its original splendour and the faux Egyptian theme removed.
A huge glass chandelier designed by American sculptor Dale Chihuly forms a stunning centrepiece to the overhauled Basil Street entrance. Taking the floral patterns on the Edwardian staircase balustrades as inspiration, the exquisitely crafted sculpture is formed from more than 900 bespoke hand-blown glass pieces that were assembled on site.