The Bishopsgate masterplan was undertaken during the early stages of the 'Big Bang' in London's financial services sector. Part of Rosehaugh Stanhope’s Broadgate development near Liverpool Street station, it is another project defined by railway infrastructure and helped to inform much of the urban design work implemented subsequently by the practice.
The project included the concept of bridging over the railway tracks leading into the station to create a new, south-facing pedestrian public space which has become Exchange Square. It also suggested expressing the arched element of the building structure at the head of the square that became Exchange House.
At a time when it was impossible to predict with certainty how new technology would affect the way the markets worked, the outline masterplan – implemented across the site by SOM – was designed to cope with uncertainty and change. Intensive research into pedestrian and vehicular movements around the site helped shape a development that successfully connected with the surrounding neighbourhood as well as the earlier phase of Broadgate.
The strategy provided the large floor plates needed to meet the demands of the world’s financial services companies in the City, while at the same time producing a flexible development plan for the future. Importantly it also produced a major and highly popular public space in the City at a time when such an idea was hardly in vogue. Years later the practice was asked by Sir Stuart Lipton, who was the client for the project, to join the team designing the Stratford City development in East London.
Click to view an animated video flyover of Fletcher Priest's city projects.