London Planning Awards 2014
The scheme provides 49,000m² grade A office accommodation along with retail and cultural space at ground floor level, all arranged around three articulated blocks with a crystalline appearance of dramatic angled facades and roofscapes.
The original plan for the building, developed soon after WilkinsonEyre's initial appointment in 2003, showed the three volumes separated by narrow atria. Following a two-year interlude after the 2008 financial crisis, the needs of the market had changed, and it was felt that larger, uninterrupted floor plates were required. On revisiting the scheme, the design team refined the design, moving the main core to the north and introducing a new, lateral atrium. This allowed the floor plates facing south across the plaza to Euston Road to be opened up across the full width of the building. It also created a much larger space for the soaring entrance lobby, which acts as a continuation of the large public square in front of the building.
WilkinsonEyre designed all the furniture and signage in the lobby, including the island reception desk which sits centre stage. The bronze desk takes its geometry from the theme of angled planes developed throughout the building. Lifting slightly at the edges, its spiralling form creates desktops of three different heights. The pursuit of sustainable development is demonstrated through the building's BREEAM 'Excellent' rating and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of less than 40.