Sidell Gibson & Jean Nouvel complete striking new office London
The term iconic is over-used but is totally appropriate for a building such as One New Change, with its utterly original and striking appearance and the radical change it brings to the City of London - now reinvented as a major retail destination, and in the technical innovations it embodies.
The building concept design is by Jean Nouvel and detail design and delivery by Sidell Gibson Architects for the developer Land Securities. The practical completion for the project was achieved on 11/10/2010 and the retail centre opened to the public on 28/10/2010.
The development responds to changing social, technological and economic conditions by providing both office space and retail spaces that can meet the accommodation requirements of a wide variety of tenants and are flexible enough to adapt to changing markets and circumstances; for example office floor-plates can be sub-divided in many different ways to provide widely varying amounts of accommodation and the retail floors are capable of being divided into units of widely varying sizes, on more than one floor if that is what the market requires. The retail spaces not only work in themselves but reconnect previously isolated areas of the City and open up dramatic vistas of St Paul’s, allowing unrestricted public access to an amazing new public roof terrace which is very literally the crowing glory of the scheme.
The cathedral’s proximity had a direct influence on the massing, shape and height of the building. The proposal was the direct result of a contextual response to the site location and planning constraints.
As an object in the streetscape, the building is like nothing else in the City or indeed in London. Although made entirely of glass it will not have high reflectivity on account of the fritting of the surface. While the form and materials of the building are highly original, they also respond to the local surroundings, for example in the use of colour to respond to the colour of surrounding buildings.
The façade consists of a very complex glazing treatment subtly changing from opaque and matt to transparent, which has been created using coloured frit patterns. In the specialist area of fritted pattern glass, One New Change is regarded as a pioneer. It is the first building to screen-print a white etch frit pattern onto the exterior face of glass.
The frit used on the envelope was the most complex aspect of the cladding, involving nearly 289 different patterns for most of the 6,500 individual pieces of glass, and 21 different colours and minimum repetition.