The world’s largest architecture and design practice will anchor a revitalised office campus at Thomas More Square in London
Resolution Property has launched Moretown, the re-branded Thomas More Square estate in Wapping, London, with confirmation of a major pre-letting to Gensler, the world’s largest architecture, design, planning and consulting practice.
Gensler has agreed a fifteen-year lease to occupy 30,000 sq ft of office space at one of the comprehensively refurbished buildings within the 560,000 sq ft Moretown campus. It will move its 220 employees in 2017 from the company’s current London headquarters at Aldgate House, EC3N, to a state-of-the-art facility that the firm will design itself providing additional space for future expansion.
Gensler’s globally renowned workplace studio has set out to create a space at Moretown that is tailored to the specific needs of its highly creative workforce. Adopting a research-led approach, the company’s workplace designers have helped companies, ranging from start-ups to multinationals, including Instagram, Adidas, Aon and UBM, to create efficient work environments that drive creativity and job satisfaction.
Under the newly unveiled Moretown brand, the Thomas More Square estate will be repositioned to create an inspiring design-led campus for the needs of modern business in media, technology, finance and innovation. The wider estate is already home to Sky TV, IPSOS Mori, Digital Window, Thales and Handelsbanken.
Adam Goldin, Head of UK investment for Resolution Property, said: ‘’We are thrilled about Gensler’s forthcoming move. They are a perfect fit with Moretown because they are about innovation, interaction and collaboration. Our aspiration for Moretown is entirely about engagement and action, accordingly we are working with current and prospective occupiers on their involvement and needs. From day one, the conversation with Gensler has been much more than a traditional landlord and tenant transaction. Our relationship is a partnership to deliver an unprecedented urban super-campus. It’s immensely exciting and is definitely the way that the contemporary market in London is moving’’
Duncan Swinhoe, Regional Managing Principal, Gensler, said: “Moretown provides us with an unparalleled opportunity to re-imagine an entire building and create and occupy the next generation of working environment, tailored around the needs of our design teams. Our new home will provide a diverse range of interconnected work settings to fully enable our highly talented people to create together, delivering industry leading design for our Clients every day. The revitalised campus has the potential to become an exciting creative hub extending the City fringe southward from Shoreditch and attracting businesses from different sectors with shared goals of driving innovation and building on people focused, talent-led values. Resolution understand these underlying trends and we are delighted to be collaborating with them in realising our shared vision.”
With the objective to appeal to occupiers from across the spectrum that share a common vision of innovation in the workplace, Resolution will work with Gensler to transform Moretown into an office and retail landmark. Striking architectural and arts interventions are a key priority, as is delivering a major investment in public realm. Plans for a New York-style boutique hotel and urban food market are also being considered.
Gensler recently made headlines for its innovative concept for a temporary UK parliament on the River Thames to house MPs during the much-needed renovations to the Palace of Westminster. It also won planning consent for the Shoreditch Highgate Hotel in December 2015, which is designed around the 24-hour economy. Gensler expanded its UK footprint earlier this year to Birmingham, its first office outside London, contributing to the creative cluster in the Digbeth region of the city.
Resolution Property and its cornerstone investor Fosun Property completed the purchase of the estate from Land Securities in March 2016 for c.£300m, through their recently-formed joint venture.
Resolution has commissioned the same creative and branding team which it used for its highly successful Alphabeta, Ampersand and Dept W projects in London.
Flanked by St Katherine Docks and Berkeley Homes’ London Dock development and within easy reach of the East End’s emerging business and lifestyle quarters, Moretown is at the heart of an emerging London neighbourhood on the doorstep of the City.
Goldin said: “Moretown will be a great example of how to upcycle an existing asset with tremendous potential. And, with its ever-growing list of amenities, flexible and resilient office space, we’re aiming to make Moretown the pivotal commercial location for Wapping and the wider City market.”
Works on Moretown, which already has planning consent, are expected to start in January 2017 and to complete in Q2 2018.
Ashwell Rogers and GM Real Estate are retained as leasing agents for Moretown.