New London Awards Best Commercial Project 2017
RIBA National and Regional Awards, London 2017
BCO Awards, Best Commercial Workplace London National and Regional 2017
BCO Awards NextGen Choice for Innovative Workplace 2017
Working to the client’s overall vision for an ‘exemplary’ new office building for this historic City site, WilkinsonEyre was appointed for the redevelopment of the former River Plate House in Finsbury Circus. Adjacent to the listed Britannic House by Edwin Lutyens, with access from both Finsbury Circus and South Place, the elegant new building fronting the garden square provides 15,000m² of Grade A, flexible office space with ground floor retail.
The redevelopment includes the construction of new contemporary Portland Stone façades and the retention of a portion of the north façade dating from the 1920s. Juliet balconies and dormer windows with their crisp, frameless glazing continue a theme of traditional elements given a modern twist. Castings from the building’s original railings have been Incorporated into the walls at the entrance.
The building is configured around a central core, providing large column free office space at all levels. Within the reception area a traditional palette of stone, bronze and walnut is imaginatively detailed to provide an uplifting environment for the occupiers. A sculptural main circulation stair has been positioned to encourage use of the stairs between floors. The lift shafts, in translucent glazing, provide both a source of light and movement, with the lift cars casting shadows as they rise and descend. WilkinsonEyre also designed two sculptural seats in walnut veneer which act as focal points within the large space.
A walnut clad recess in the curved stone wall on the east side of the reception houses a sleek reception desk and provides views into the lower levels of the lightwell. The lightwell brings daylight down through the building and provides a visible connection between floors. An art installation by Carpenter Lowings, commissioned for the project, runs the full height of the lightwell. This dynamic piece, composed of folded stainless-steel panels, was developed to be both a focal point and device to introduce reflected light into the depth of the building.