The City is home to some very fine examples of contemporary architecture. The Architects’ Company wishes to recognise this and to support the City Corporation in its quest for world class buildings in the Square Mile.The Company has therefore increased the profile of its annual award scheme and inaugurated this single City of London Building of the Year Award.
We invited nominations from our members and City organisations, whittled these down to a shortlist and asked our esteemed judges to visit the four projects featured in this document.
The jury looked for buildings that supported the ambitions of the Planning and Transportation Committee and assessed the quality of the architectural design as well as the impact of the building on the city street scene.
The Leadenhall Building
The 48-floor, 225 metre high building, with its distinctive wedge-shaped profile, is already a key landmark on the City skyline. The glass façade is tapered in order to reduce the impact on the protected sightline of St Paul’s Cathedral when viewed from Fleet Street. At ground level there is a 30m high atrium and publicly-accessible space which in the future will connect with the adjacent St Helen’s Square and provides a pedestrian link to Undershaft. The north side of the building houses the mechanical services. The lifts, with their exposed mechanisms and brightly coloured counterweights, add a dynamic element to the facade.
The structure is clearly expressed on the outside of the building. This provides a sense of scale and legibility when viewed from a distance.
The judges described the Leadenhall Building as ‘very impressive’. ‘If you worked here you’d feel good about yourself every day,’ said one. They felt it made an outstanding winner for the inaugural award. ‘It is world class. Put this into any financial centre in the world and it would hold its own.’
Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners
Client: British Land and Oxford Properties
Contractor: Laing O’Rourke
St Bartholomew’s Hospital
The new nine-storey building is a specialist cardiac and cancer centre providing 65,000 sq m of accommodation. The block, which retains the historic King George V wing, features a contemporary design of stone and brick that complements the existing Georgian architecture. The redevelopment was carried out in phases enabling the campus to remain operational from the beginning of the project in 2006 through to completion in 2016.
With the redevelopment, St Bart’s remains on the cutting edge of oncology and cardiac treatment, retaining its international reputation for leadership in the development of new clinical services.
The judges were impressed by the grand central space and described the building as a ‘well turned out PFI project’. The staff were clearly very happy with the building and the acoustics were excellent. The landscaping was not complete at the time of the visit and the judges look forward to viewing the building when it is next year.
Client: Barts and the London NHS Trust
Main Contractor: Skanska
The nine-storey development of approximately 129,000 sq ft has been designed to sit comfortably in the Bank Conservation area, which includes the nearby Bank of England. The project inserts a new office building between two retained façades: an early twentieth century neoclassical façade on Moorgate and a Queen Anne revival facade at 16 Tokenhouse Yard.
The reception space contained within the retained facade reflects the restored neoclassical Moorgate facade, with ornate plaster detailing and original restored windows.
The judges enjoyed the outside of the building, the restored facades and the new elevation at Tokenhouse Yard which they described as ‘delightful’. They felt the interiors did little to differentiate themselves from the norm.
Architects: Allies and Morrison
Client: Stanhope plc and Mitsui Fusodan UK
Main contractor: Mace
6 Bevis Marks
The redesign of this building recycled half the mass of the previous structure; it improved the ground level by making a courtyard out of a former loading bay, putting a pedestrian bridge over the ramp to a service tunnel and re-opening a walkway which gives a short cut across the site. The pavement on Bevis Marks, which the previous building oversailed and partly blocked with a colonnade, was reinstated.
The new building is 16 storeys compared to the former eight. Several roof gardens are formed by stepping the building as it goes up; a lattice frame covers the upper terrace, shading a glass pavilion and giving it a distinctive ‘top’ to proclaim its identity.
The judges admired the finishes to the building which they thought gave it a substantial presence on the street.
Architects: Fletcher Priest
Client: AXA, BlackRock, Wells Fargo and CORE
Chairman: Paul Finch.
Geoffrey Purves, Master Architect
Will Beardmore Gray,
Axa Real Estate
Cushman and Wakefield