Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
120 Fenchurch Street in London by Eric Parry Architects
October 9th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Eric Parry Architects
120 FENCHURCH STREET – Mixed Use Office Development in the City of London
120 Fenchurch Street is a City block development located in the south section of the Eastern Cluster of the City of London. The site is immediately to the south of Willis Building at 51 Lime Street. North of this, on the north side of Leadenhall Street, is the consented development at 122 Leadenhall Street, which is part of the apex of the Eastern Cluster.
The building has been arranged as three distinct sections:
The external envelope and massing of the scheme is informed by the specific geometry of the site and has been developed with a consistent parapet height around the main base which responds to the current streetscape, creating a strong urban building.
A series of inflections along the façades have been introduced to create difference and variations and by setting back from the site of the existing building line, enlarging the pavements and improving the public space. The vertical ceramic fins of the main body provide depth and solar shading whilst the ceramic material reflects light in the streetscape. Structural columns have been incorporated in every other vertical fin on a 3m grid to achieve large structural spans of 15m on the internal floorplates which create an open and flexible plan layout.
In contrast to the solidity of the main body, the upper floors are fully glazed with a reflective glass treatment to reflect the surrounding buildings and sky. The shape of this section is set back and tapered outwards so it appears separated from the building below. This skin has been detailed as a triple facade to avoid framing to the reflective outer glass skin and to appear as a veil wrapping the set back body. This is crowned by a publicly accessible roof garden, designed as a raised green oasis that floats within the urban roofscape.
On ground floor the facade grid widens to 6m spans of precast columns with large shopfront units set out in double height order over ground and mezzanine floors. The existing public right of way passage of Hogarth Court has been replaced by a new passageway with a central room, reminiscent in proportion of historic banking halls. This room will feature an animated LED screen soffit showing imagery of the roof garden above. The projections are inspired by tradition of camera obscura and will give the roof garden a presence in the passageway and draw workers and visitors up into the public lifts serving the roof garden.
The roof garden has been carefully designed with Latz & Partner to include all best aspects of a public space with the challenge to integrate building services requirements and energy efficiency. The predominant design elements are the topography of the gently folded floor, the large water feature along the south perimeter and the green cubes which enclose the plant facilities from the floor below. ‘Wisteria trees’ will overgrow the steel pergola canopies folding across the roof garden at high level and will contribute to the overall shading and zoning of the space. This will create intimate seating areas and pockets of space for relaxation whilst maintaining the idea of the continuous walk around the perimeter and vistas of the London skyline in all four directions.
The office entrance is located to the north side off Fenchurch Avenue with a maximised retail frontage along Fenchurch Street. The office floorplates and cores have been designed to suit flexible use of 2-4 tenancy splits and with large structural spans of 15m to minimise columns and maximise light penetration into the floor plate. Two trading floors have been incorporated on levels 1 + 2 with greater floor to ceiling heights and maximised floor and ceiling zones. The building will be serviced off Billiter Street.
The scheme received a resolution to grant by the City of London in March 2012 and retains the principles of a scheme that gained planning in autumn 2008. Throughout the design evolution of 120 Fenchurch Street sustainability was at the centre of the decision making process. The development is predicted to achieve high BREEAM ‘Excellent’ 2008 ratings for both the office and retail development.
120 Fenchurch Street has been shortlisted for the ‘New London Awards 2012’ in the category offices. Winning and commended scheme will be announced on 10 July 2012.
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