Finsbury Circus House  Union Investment Real Estate GmbH

Reconstructing this 1980s building resolves the relationship with Finsbury Circus to the south and Eldon Street to the north, which became critical when Broadgate turned Eldon Street from a minor backwater into a busy pedestrian route. Fletcher Priest realised that both sides had their own value, the circus as the City’s largest garden lined with grand Edwardian facades, while the street offered enormous footfall and easy access for commuters.

Making a visual connection between the two sides for the first time, they lowered the entrance floor to the north so it is now level with that on the south. They also found ways to increase and improve space within the permitted envelope, adding a floor, infilling a small atrium and compensating for the loss of light with new windows and higher quality glass. Using traditional materials in modern ways, the new facades now reflect the character of the space they face: small windows on regular grid to the circus with similar proportions to the Edwardian neighbours and concealed terraces behind, while the northern side is more playful, with larger windows which become sculptural at the roof level and are interspersed with terraces.

As at Carmelite Riverside, this project shows how understanding the character of a site can unlock ways to add value and improve quality of the workplace.