Finsbury Circus House / Fletcher Priest Architects / london + köln + riga | fletcherpriest
Finsbury Circus House  Union Investment Real Estate GmbH

Finsbury Circus is the oldest and largest public park in the City of London, laid out with a distinctive elliptical plan in the late 19th century. It was subsequently defined by classically inspired corporate palazzos, exemplified by Lutyens’ lavish Britannic House.

With its pedimented façade, partly hidden behind the trees, Finsbury Circus House was redeveloped in the 1980s using postmodern classical motifs. However, with its ageing mechanical services, and compromised entrance and workplace, it lacked the qualities required for this significant location.
We identified elements of structure that could be successfully retained and reused, including the curved masonry façade to the Circus and the façade framing along South Place. A partially new internal structure provides uninterrupted floor plates, and the new limestone façade to South Place maximises views and daylight, with large north-facing picture windows that project as framed bays.

The roof line has been reconfigured with large scale studio dormers facing north and plant is concealed at the centre of the deep plan.
A new single-level foyer connects the Circus entrance to South Place and this is given an equal presence with its own double-height office entrance, which visually terminates Wilson Street to the north. Foyer windows are treated as shopfronts and the scale and repetition of the fenestration is redolent of industrial façades that used to characterise this area.