February 20, 2012
Architects: Make Architects
Location: London, UK
Client: City of London
Collaborators: Arup, Davis Langdon
Project Area: 135 sqm
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Zander Olsen, Make Architects
Situated opposite the South Transept of St Paul’s Cathedral, the City of London Information Centre introduces a dynamic contemporary structure to an area of exceptional architectural and urban heritage.
In form, the building combines simplicity and efficiency of structure with a distinctive visual impact. The triangular plan has evolved from analysis of principal pedestrian flows across the site, while the orientation and profile establish an intriguing dialogue with St Paul’s as the building looks up to its prestigious neighbour and opens out to welcome people approaching it. A folded metallic envelope evokes the aerodynamic profile of a paper aeroplane, seamlessly wrapping 140m2 of internal accommodation and formed by a steel frame braced with structural ply and clad in 220 pre-finished stainless steel panels.
The building meets exacting environmental standards and has been engineered to exceed current Part L targets for C02 emissions by 20 per cent. The structure’s envelope is highly insulated, the interior environment is regulated using borehole cooling and the sloping roof facilitates the collection of rainwater which is used to flush toilets and irrigate planting nearby.
November 20, 2011
Layers of site history permeate through contemporary design at London Wall Place
London Wall Place is a premium office scheme which replaces a 1950s podium and vacant tower with two landmark buildings. The original urban grain of the area will be reinstated, reconnecting this key section of London Wall with the life of the City of London and its wider context and enhancing the relationship between the existing historic structures.
A dual approach was adopted as a starting point – designing from both the outside in, and the inside out. A detailed study of the complex, multi-layered context of the site was combined with careful consideration of the quality of the environment for the building’s users.
Designed to accommodate constantly changing tenant needs and future environmental challenges, the buildings are easily reconfigurable. The highly flexible design takes the long term evolution of the structure into consideration and demonstrates true sustainability by minimising the disruptive impact of continual urban renewal.
The rich history of the site is visibly expressed in the layers of materials used in the buildings. The flint that forms the foundation layer of the area’s historic structures was a key influence in the architectural approach and is used as the conceptual response for the facade treatment.
Over half of the site is dedicated to open space, creating a new destination for the area and a vibrant public place with a strong local identity. The visual permeability of the site will be enhanced and access into the heart of the development improved to foster legibility and integration.