Russell & Bromley, 16 – 17 Old Bond Street, City Centre
16-17 Old Bond Street form part of a section of late 18th century terraced houses, now with commercial ground floors and shopfronts, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The shared ground floor is comprised of a distinctive 1980s Palladian-inspired shopfront with a pedimented timber fascia and symmetrically placed pillars framing the shop windows. It positively contributes to the eclectic variety of traditional shop frontage designs visible along Old Bond Street.
Due to the building’s location within the commercial centre of the Bath conservation area, and retained use of traditional shop front vernacular, the shop frontage is expected to comply with relevant guidance regarding the appropriate use of materials, colours, and a lack of illuminated signage, in keeping with the wider historic character of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site.
BPT is supportive of the sensitive repainting of the shopfront in colour which would be of a suitably discrete and neutral appearance. We additionally support the retention of features of interest to the streetscape and shopfront detailing, such as the brass bands around the shopfront pillars, and the hanging boot-shaped sign at first floor level. However, we have concerns regarding the proposed use of a gloss finish; we maintain that shopfronts should be matte to prevent an overly reflective or bright appearance that might retract from the appearance of a listed building or the wider harmonious, traditional aesthetic qualities of the conservation area. We therefore recommend that a matte finish is selected as a more appropriate alternative.