This tower in the City of London, opposite Liverpool Street Station, was built in 1976 and had been designed to office standards that have now been superseded. Set some distance from Old Broad Street and the Grade I listed St. Botolph's Church, Aldgate, the tower was sited on a bleak paved plaza, and the prevailing view was that it should be demolished. A review of available options indicated that the existing structure should be retained and adapted. It was shown that the foundations could support a further five floors, and that additional floors could be added within the restriction of the St Paul's viewing corridor.
An additional 40 per cent more net lettable space could be achieved within this new envelope, in a nineteen storey tower. Major cost savings resulted from the retention of the structural frame, with a shorter contract period on site and a major contribution to the sustainability of the redevelopment. The existing top two floors that housed mechanical plant were demolished, and five new office floors constructed in their place.
A new high-performance glazed cladding was designed, with a silk-screened dot matrix frit to protect the interior from direct sunlight. The reuse of the original structural frame together with other energy saving measures ensured that the building achieves an 'excellent' BREEAM rating. The entire reconstruction process made maximum use of demolition materials and involved a series of innovations to improve energy efficiency. These included solar water heating panels on the roof, rainwater capture and recycling, and a high-performance coating on the external glass cladding to control heat and light levels.
We worked with the neighbours to landscape the approach to the building, and introduced a ground floor restaurant with outside space overlooking the gardens in St. Botolph's churchyard.
"For us, it's proof that even the toughest buildings in the most demanding economic times can be transformed by an injection of lateral thinking and imaginative planning."
Land Securities Second Life examplar study
"It feels good to come into the office every day. Dashwood is close to many major transport links and we love the views and light given by the floor-to-ceiling windows."
Catherine Rawlin, Partner, RGL Forensics, Dashwood
Click to view an animated video flyover of Fletcher Priest's city projects.