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Handel Hendrix House, Mayfair

Sensitive, detailed and extensive Listed building project to allow public access to George Frideric Handel’s house and Jimi Hendrix’s flat.

Reorganising the building to allow public access to Hendrix’s flat

Haines Phillips Architects won the commission for the first phase of the long term master plan for the expansion of the museums facilities to complete the full reinstatement of the baroque composer George Frideric Handel’s House at 25 Brook Street and to allow public access to the rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix’s flat at the third floor of 23 Brook Street.

Restoration and transformation of Grade I and Grade II listed buildings

A new mansard roof extension at fourth floor level above no.25 Brook Street allowed the museums office to be relocated, in turn releasing the spaces within the Hendrix flat at third floor level in no.23 Brook Street for public access. No.25 is Grade I Listed and no.23 is Grade II Listed.

The project funding was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supplemented by private donations. 

New exhibition spaces

The Georgian interiors at first and second floor levels within no.23 were retained as an integral part of the Museum, providing exhibition spaces at first floor level and visitor and volunteer rooms at second floor level.

Sketch design option for rear mansard extension

Phasing of the building works through careful design

The Museum’s requirement to remain open to the public throughout the construction period was an important consideration that informed the design, in particular in relation to the visitor route alterations and the careful phasing of the works.

Improving accessibility and creating new opportunities to understand Handel and Hendrix’s music and lifestyles

As well as creating music, groups are given an opportunity to explore the House and to get an understanding of how and why Handel lived at Brook Street in the 18th Century. The restored Hendrix Flat allows visitors to get a flavour of how these two fascinating and hugely influential musicians, Handel and Hendrix, would both have lived in the building ‘separated by a wall and 200 years’.

The new facilities mean that the Museum is now accessible to all visitors (including those in wheelchairs and with other impairments). It can receive educational groups on a more regular basis, without having to close the Museum to the public.

The project received considerable press coverage in a wide range of publications, including The Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, on the BBC, and in the architectural/design press including Blueprint magazine.