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5 Merchant Square, London, United Kingdom 
Wednesday 31 Oct 2012
 
Sculpting the void 
 
Photographs by Nick Hufton and Ed Reeve 
 
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Award Entry

Intriguing workplace fuses the conceptual with the practical 

5 Merchant Square provides 355,000 sq ft of office and retail space arranged over 14 floors plus an executive penthouse office. Composed of three contrasting triangular elements, its sculpted form presents an animated façade on all sides, enlivening the canal frontage, addressing the existing office buildings to the west and forming the western boundary of a new public square.

5 Merchant Square is about breaking free from the typology of the traditional hermetically sealed office block. The red prism that bisects the building visually breaks up the 15-storey mass into three distinctive triangular shapes, each responding to the immediate context, and allows greater pedestrian access to the Basin. The three expressions of the exterior wall were derived from their relationship to the sun and light and transform a typical glass office building into a more conceptual object: a rendering of lightness.

All utilise the same back mullion within a unitised cladding system, resulting in reduced costs and maximised efficiency of production and energy performance, pre-emptively meeting the Part L requirements and contributing to its BREEAM 'Excellent' certification. The lobby is elegant and minimal with a wall of striped coloured glass, bringing warmth and movement to the muted palate of stone and marble. The emphasis is on craftsmanship, with bespoke timber lobby desks and a dark grey marble wall.

5 Merchant Square is an office building that puts people at the core of its design: the central atrium brings generous amounts of natural light into the office floors; the flexible floorplates; high-quality restrooms and sophisticated entrance lobby, have all been designed with the user in mind. In sharp contrast to the City / Canary Wharf model, where 'corner offices' are the most coveted, the corners of every floor become outdoor terraces, offering spectacular views of the city and creating unique communal zones where employees are encouraged to meet.

5 Merchant Square is a revolutionary office space: a beautiful and functional building that reflects a deep understanding of culture, urbanity, technology and sustainability.

Key Facts

Status Complete
Value 0(m€)
mossessian & partners
www.mossessian & partners

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