City of London, UK
Design and Cat A refurbishment of 100,000sqft grade ‘A’ office space which has expansive views over the Thames and beyond. New facilities include extensive cycle and changing facilities, a new reception (by others) and a winter garden and enhanced landscaping of the 19,000sqft roof terrace at fourth floor
The existing building was constructed in the 1980s, and was refurbished in 2005. Floorplates are substantial, of around 52,000sqft, a scale relatively rare in the City of London.
The office floors sit above a deep multi-storey car park and there is also a private club, the Little Ship Club, at ground floor on the Thames frontage. The rear third of the building spans over Bell Wharf Lane which provides service access to the building, as well as access to an NCP underground car park, the adjacent building and the City of London’s Walbrook Wharf.
Key to transforming the office space was exposing the existing concrete waffle slab around the central atrium, which was previously concealed behind a suspended ceiling. Now lightly cleaned and exposed, the soffit – along with upgraded services and new LED pendant lighting – lends patina, character and variation to the large floorplates.
The new cycle parking space located in a series of vaults at lower ground floor level is significant, with secure parking space for 221 cycles, and dedicated lockers for folding cycles, as well as a repair station. Our colourful and dynamic palette has transformed the tired existing spaces.
The space was fully waterproofed and fitted out to a high standard with a refined material palette to the changing space and showers and a more vibrant approach with colour and supergraphics enlivening the arrival route and cycle storage spaces, transforming the tired existing provision.
Brightly coloured floors and dynamic ‘tyre-mark’ graphics in the entrance corridor welcome users into the facilities. A projected digital clock demarcates and celebrates the end of the cyclist’s journey, complete with cheering crowd graphics on either side. This feature is a small additional touch but exemplifies how the project seeks to lift the spirits with a combination of small but thoughtful design moves.
WCs were redesigned with a crisp and contemporary palette of natural tones with bespoke concrete vanity shelves tying into the aesthetic of the exposed concrete soffits in the office space. Delicate timber fluted detailing; floating vanity mirrors and recessed directional lighting lend a theatrical effect to the space, elevating the washrooms beyond the merely prosaic.
Playful moments are combined with a focus on delight from the tactile and visual appeal of the natural materials. Utility is another theme, with much design thought put into small features such as shelves for mobile phones or bags integrated into the vanity in WCs and numerous amenities such as phone chargers, and in house dry cleaning and towel services in the changing room.
This project has delivered on the brief’s requirement to extend the life and value of the building and has demonstrated its appeal to new occupiers as well as the existing occupiers who took more space as the project progressed. It was shortlisted for the 2019 OAS Development Awards for Best City Refurbishment / Regeneration.