News > Farewell Sampson House

23 January 2019

One of the things about being a longstanding practice is that you have the privilege of witnessing a changing relationship between your buildings, the city they serve and the people who own and use them. In some cases, such as the Royal Exchange in the City of London, we have worked on the building more or less continuously over a period of more than 35 years for successive owners, designing its evolution as the city around it changes. In others, such as Riverscape, at 10 Queen Street Place, we have had the opportunity to go back and retrofit one of our previous buildings, extending its lifespan and making it an exciting place to work for a whole new generation of occupiers. Still others have been listed by Historic England, such as Brown, Shipley and Co Ltd at Founders Court in Moorgate which is still happily and productively occupied by the commissioning client.

It is rare that we have to bid a sad farewell to one of our projects that has come to the end of its useful life. Sampson House, designed as a centralised cheque-clearing premises for Lloyds Bank in 1979, has been a significant presence in its Southwark neighbourhood. With its large scale and brutalist style it prefigured other ‘groundscrapers’ that were to follow. Featuring 'innovative environmental controls to recycle energy and regulate heat', the building was carefully designed to disguise the required scale and massing, and architectural historian Pevsner noted that the ‘sleek stepped back upper floors’ looked like ‘superimposed streamlined train carriages’. While we are sad to see it go, we nonetheless wish the new development team well in demolishing a structure designed to last 125 years.




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