Replacing all but the core of a 25 storey 1970s tower in the Bank of England Conservation Area created the opportunity to increase and improve the neighbourhood’s public urban space as well as providing over 60% additional high quality office space within a prominent building.
Fletcher Priest sought to stress the contrast between the area’s solid stone character, physically and symbolically reflecting the presence of the Bank of England, with a translucent and ethereal tower. Adding 30 per cent to the public realm turns Angel Court into an attractive pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants which catch midday sun, rather than a dark alleyway reached through a hole in the wall. The buildings around it replace the tower’s podium with grey limestone, stressing permanence and so evoking Threadneedle Street’s Old Lady herself.
Above it hovers the tower. Its skin flows as a continuously curved surface across its entire volume; during day time it is entirely translucent and appears to draw clouds and sky down to earth: as external light fails and internal lights take over, this apparently uniform skin becomes more earthbound; its glass panels become transparent while those covering the gridded frame remain opaque. These effects come from a double frit added to the glass panels, and which allows views from inside to out in any light.
Angel Court continues Fletcher Priest’s development of sustainable urban workplaces which bring benefits to occupants and the public alike. Here, too they refine innovative glazing which they pioneered at Watermark Place.