City of Westminster, London, UK

Verde SW1

Our proposals for Verde SW1 provided an opportunity for a true transformation. The new massing and façade gives the building a striking and modern identity while six landscaped roof gardens create a ‘park in the sky’, with long views over London. From basement to rooftop, every detail has been designed to create a modern, state of the art office for businesses and employees to thrive and enjoy the space

Project Details

  • Location London
  • Type Refurbishment
  • Area 41,145m² 442,880ft²
  • Sector Offices, Retail
  • Client Tishman Speyer
  • Services Architecture

Verde SW1 is the result of a complex and exacting redesign and redevelopment of the former Eland House, built in the 1990s, to meet contemporary office requirements, as well as ambitious environmental targets

Existing building
Comparative section: creation of stepped terraces and central atrium

Located within 150m of a new entrance to Victoria Station, the building features 282,000sqft of grade ‘A’ office space across ten floors, a dramatic triple-height reception, ground floor retail space, a dedicated cycle ramp entrance and six expansive roof gardens totalling more than 20,000sqft.

Our key objectives for this project included:

  • Create a high quality office building, designed to BCO standards
  • Enhance the visual appearance of the building
  • Enhance the main entrance
  • Remove basement car park ramp to form a new reception and cycle ramp entrance
  • Maximise the roof opportunities with the formation of external landscaped terraces
  • Introduce ground floor retail
  • Increase the use of sustainable transport
  • Improve sub-divisibility on the office floors
  • Target a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating
  • Carbon life cycle assessment, including glass recycling opportunities
Analysis of the site and existing building informed a number of key design concepts which were explored and developed through the design process, each of these are separate elements which are linked together in order to fully realise the potential of the redevelopment
Existing entrance

The facades are designed with deep horizontal and vertical recesses to form a series of flush glass bay windows that create scale through rhythm and articulation.

The ‘anchor’ in the southeast corner contains vertical fins with feature LED lighting to provide a dramatic focal point to the building.

Existing reception

The building features a dramatic triple-height reception with a through connection linking Bressenden Place and Cathedral Walk.

New triple height reception
Existing offices

A nine-storey glazed atrium brings natural daylight into the heart of the building’s floorplate and is crowned by a dramatic glazed roof structure.

The atrium roof steps with the cascading roof garden terraces, offering the occupants a visual connection to the green spaces above.

Stepped roof terraces provide a unique offer in the office market in this part of London and take advantage of outstanding views across Buckingham Palace, St James’s Park and Green Park

Each terrace ranges in size from 300sqm to 600sqm and is enclosed by a balustrade set back from the front edge of the terrace to allow for an extensive green roof system with over 40 different plant species.

As the fifth elevation of the building, the roof provides green terraces that accentuate the descending steps of the structure, connecting it to the established neighbourhood while elegantly softening the building in the designated viewing corridor.

Verde SW1 has been designed to the highest environmental and sustainable standards and has a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating. It offers a suite of sustainable and environmental features designed to reduce consumption whilst enhancing the everyday lives of those working in and visiting the building

Sustainability has been a major focus, with 80% of existing structure retained and over 11,600 tonnes of carbon saved.

Innovative approaches include the ability of tenants to track their own energy consumption with on-site energy and carbon footprint monitoring and reporting.

A unique feature of the design allows cyclists to enter the building via a bespoke cycle ramp, which leads directly into the basement with 440 bike spaces, showers and a gym to promote health and wellbeing.

Whole Life Carbon Assessment

Sturgis Carbon Profiling was commissioned to produce a full Carbon and Lifecycle analysis of all key building stages, including:

  • Existing structure of Eland House
  • Embodied Carbon impact of new construction elements
  • Carbon impact of construction site activity
  • Operational carbon impact of refurbished building over 60 year life span

The existing glass façade was a key contributor to the carbon calculation, 100% of glass has been recycled back to glass products saving the equivalent of 100 tCO2e in future production processes.

The CIWM Sustainability and Resource Awards winner 2016 is testament to minimising environmental impacts of refurbishing buildings.

Carbon breakdown showing Whole Life Carbon = 74,800 tonnes CO2e
Existing building (left) and main demolition works (right)
Main proposed alterations (left) and as built building (right)

The building was winner of the OAS Awards 2018 in the Best West End Refurbishment / Regeneration category, winner in two categories at the UK Property Awards in 2017 for Best Office Development and Best Office Architecture and was shortlisted in the AJ Retrofit Awards 2017 for buildings over 10,000sqm

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