March 26, 2011


Blackfriars Road

Blackfriars Road

Blackfriars Road

Blackfriars Road

Blackfriars Road

Blackfriars Road

Blackfriars Road

Blackfriars Road

Blackfriars Road

  • Project Details
  • Completion: 2013
  • Cost: £61 Million
  • Clients: Great Portland Estates Plc

Terminating the vista from the south end of Blackfriars Bridge is the crystalline form of this 17,600sqm office building wrapped in a fluid pinstripe glass skin. This simple extruded parallelogram has then been cut away in three planes: to the north to create a façade to the river, to the base to create an increased public realm, and to the roof to create a sky room. Retail units are placed at the base to animate the enlarged street and a new residential building is located to the south in the area of the site compressed by rights of light considerations.

Project Credits:

Project Manager: Jackson Coles

Structural Engineer: AKT

Services Engineer: Watermans Building Services

Cost Consultant: Davis Langdon

Planning Consultant: Montagu Evans

Acoustic Consultant: Alan Saunders

Rights Of Light Consultant: Anstey Horne

Party Wall Consultant: Malcolm Hollis

Transport Consultant: TPP

Sustainibility Consultant: Environ UK

CGI’s: Smoothe


February 19, 2011


London, February 9, 2011 – The Angel Building is the re-invention of an unloved early 1980’s commercial building located on one of London’s historic focal points where City Road and St. John Street meets Pentonville Road and bustling Islington High Street. Now a restrained piece of enlightened modern architecture, the Angel Building was once an unsightly and problematic building, significantly set back from both streets with a poorly resolved landscaped area separating it from the pavement. The deteriorating fabric had not aged well, and was unpopular with the local population who felt it detracted from its surroundings.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) brief was to devise a working environment that was aesthetically compatible with the rest of the building, but flexible enough to show potential tenants the exciting possibilities of the space. The Angel Building provided the perfect opportunity for AHMM and Derwent London to build on ideas and experience of delivering contemporary design, integrated with older architecture, to provide an identifiable high quality office space.

Whilst the external cladding, services and internal finishes of the existing building had reached the end of their life, the reinforced concrete structure proved to be sufficiently robust and with suitable floor-to-floor heights (approximately 3.7m) to make retaining and reusing it a possibility.

Further analysis of the embodied energy contained within the structure suggested reuse was essential. Avoiding the demolition and disposal of the structure, and construction of a new replacement resulted in immense CO² savings, which contribute to the inherent sustainability of the development. In-situ concrete also has the advantage of high thermal mass which, in tandem with a displacement ventilation system, can be utilised to cut the amount of energy required to keep the building cool.

The build-time for the project was also substantially reduced by reusing the structure, and overall cost savings are also significant. These benefits easily outweighed the added complexity of co-ordinating structure and services which often proved challenging for the design team.

A new fifth floor of offices space has been added. To make it less prominent, it has been recessed behind roof terraces and clad in a pure white facade of structural glazing.

In total the new building has added about 9,200m². The result is an essentially new building, with 40 per cent more useful floorspace, which retains and extends the structural frame of the old one.

Practice Description

At Allford Hall Monaghan Morris we make buildings that are satisfying to use and beautiful to look at; an architecture that is defined by the experience of users who should be able to understand and use each building with ease and enjoyment.  We design very different buildings, for very different people to use in very different ways and, since our early days in the late 1980s, we have grown from four to over one hundred and fifty people and our budgets from a few thousand to tens of millions of pounds. The practice has won numerous awards for it’s projects and has twice been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize; in 2009 for Kentish Town Health Centre and in 2008 for Westminster Academy.

Official name of the project : The Angel Building
Location : 407 St John Street , London, EC1V 4AB
Cost: £72M
Gross Internal Area: 357,625sq ft
Net Internal Area: 264,363sq ft
Contract Type: Two Stage Design & Build
Project end date: 6th September 2010

Project Team

Client: Derwent London
Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Structural Engineers: Adams Kara Taylor
Project Manager: Buro Four
Cost Consultants: Davis Langdon
Property Agents:Pilcher Hershman / CBRE
Service Engineers: Norman Disney & Young
Landscape Architects: J&L Gibbons
Fire Consultant: Norman Disney & Young Fire
Main Contractor: BAM
Approved Inspector: Islington Building Control
Acoustic Consultant: Sandy Brown Associates
Planning Consultant: DP9
CDM Co-ordinator: Jackson Coles
Party Wall Surveyor: GIA
Transport Consultant: Colin Buchanan
Graphic Designers: David Hillman
Rights of Light Consultant: GIA
Lighting Consultant: GIA Equation

Trade Contractors:
Getjar (Concrete)
Scheldebouw (Cladding)
Rowen (Structural Steel)
Facilitas (Roofing)
AWJefferies (Architectural Metalwork)
Antron (Security)
Kent Commercial (Drylining)
Andrews Tile (Terrazzo Floor)
Astec (Atrium Screens)
Vector Foilteck (ETFE Roof)
Houston Cox Eastern (WC Fit-out)
J Browne (Landscape)
Benchmark (Joinery)
Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil (M&E)
Kingpan (Raised Floors)
Otis & Evans Turner (Lifts)

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Team Members:
Simon Allford, Steve Smith, Wade Scaramucci, Ian McArdle, Berta Willisch, Big Hoffmann, Petr Kolacek, Ivana Sehic, Anika Koenig, Jack Ayre, Nadine Hadamik, Ana Corrochano, Tamsin Landells, Leo Mader, Leo Mayol, Marion Clayfield, Leif Henning, Goh Ong, Glen O’Gloughlin, Barbara McGarry, Clemmie Seymour, Jonathan Hall, Paul Monaghan, Peter Morris, + MODELSHOP

For more information:–by-allford-hall-monaghan-morris&catid=35:projetsarchitecture&Itemid=142