Building of the Year 2018

The assessors were encouraged by the quality and variety of projects that they visited this year. At London Wall Place they commented on the opening up of public space and the close collaboration with the City of London and with the Salters’ Company, whose building’s south facade is strikingly revealed by the new layout. The landscaping is elegantly done and the new Cor-Ten walkways provide key connections with the Barbican and the City to the south of London Wall. The building has greatly improved the north side of London Wall and the vista looking towards Alban Gate. The floor plan is ‘ruthlessly efficient’ ; the building has been very successful commercially, attracting the bankers Schroders as well as a number of law firms.

 

The assessors agreed that 1 King William Street was very well done, a simple solution with excellent integration of old and new. This is a first class refurbishment, well knitted into the city, well detailed with excellent brickwork. The building addresses St Swithin’s lane with appropriate variety and humility.

 

The assessors felt it was very difficult to compare any of the submissions with the Bloomberg Building which is a very bespoke building on which no expense has been spared. The results are worth the investment, with high quality workspace, BREEAM outstanding certification  and a cafe area that has the feel of a grand public space. The building meets all the key criteria for the City of London Building of the year: it is of world class quality, it supports the City’s ambitions as a global business hub and it addresses the surrounding City in a most positive way – an undisputed winner!

The WCCA City of the London Building of the Year Awards are supported by:

Building of the Year Winner

The Bloomberg Building

Foster and Partners

Bloomberg’s new European headquarters is in the heart of the City of London with a form, massing and materiality that is sensitive to its historic setting yet clearly of its own time. It is a building of quality that will endure, becoming a natural extension of the civic heart of the City, where it makes a significant contribution to the surrounding public realm. Bloomberg comprises two buildings connected at high level by bridges that span over a new arcade which bisects the site, reinstating the line of Watling Street, an ancient Roman road that originally ran across the site.

In contrast to the dignified exterior, the dynamic interior unites the 4,000-strong London workforce under one roof for the first time. A key objective was for the building to be an exemplar of wellbeing and sustainability. The design achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating, and the highest design-stage score ever achieved by any major office development, with self-shading facades and natural ventilation throughout the deep-plan spaces.

The process from design to construction was a collaborative enterprise between Bloomberg and Foster + Partners, with unprecedented levels of innovation resulting in a building that is an embodiment of the culture and values of Bloomberg.

Best New Build

London Wall Place

MAKE Architects

London Wall Place, a joint venture development from Brookfield Properties and Oxford Properties, is a new destination on a 2-acre site in the City of London comprising two buildings that provide more than 500,000ft2 of premium office space and over 35,000ft2 of roof terraces; 1 acre of new public gardens with new pedestrian routes, including 350m of elevated walkways; and two retail premises.

The project’s concept lies in referencing and revealing the deep history of the site. The scheme’s geometry is aligned with the historical urban grain created by the section of the Roman city wall on site and the facade materials reference the stone used to build the wall. The wall and the medieval St Alphage Church tower on site – both hidden from public view since the 1960s – have been restored and made central features of the gardens, while the elevated walkways of the 1960s have been reimagined and reinstated.

The two buildings share the same striking appearance, with contrasting sections of vertical rectilinear bands of glass-reinforced concrete and dark blue ceramic ribs that form a vertically elongated grid. The architecture is designed to be a backdrop to the heritage landmarks and terraced pocket gardens, which are filled with thousands of plants such as strawberries, lavender and ivy.

Best Refurbishment

1 King William Street

AHMM

One King William Street involves the extension and reinvention of two neighbouring buildings into high-specification office space within the heart of the Bank Conservation Area.

The project’s aims are threefold: to restore the listed neoclassical corner building by reinvigorating its original features; to reclad and extend vertically its southern neighbour; and to internally unify the buildings such that, from within, the two are unified.

To the south, the composition of a new masonry shell is a direct response to the heritage of the listed corner building. The principal massing on the vertiginous St Swithin’s Lane is formed of a tripartite system of stepping planes and varied window reveals, which progressively reduces in scale towards the top of the building. The double order of the lower four levels terminates at a cornice line that aligns with that of the neo-classical building, while the restrained material palette of hand-thrown bricks and bronze-toned metals confidently complements the existing Portland Stone. Internally, the single floorplate (across the two buildings) is reorganised and a new core inserted to clarify spatial sequences. A new terrace, located on the roof of the listed building, capitalises on views toward the Bank of England and maximises external amenity.

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