Twenty-twenty vision...

Monday 11 Jan 2010

Native Land and Matthew Lloyd Architects collaborate to integrate a historic environment with modern environmental sensibilities

The brief for this project was to create a mixed-use, new-build development of 8,600 sq ft overlooking Bishops Square on the Spitalfields Estate, whilst fully restoring the neighbouring Grade II listed St Botolph’s Hall.The team were required to design and develop a forward thinking scheme, capable of marrying the architectural extremes of Twenty Bishop Square’s neighbouring buildings – Allen & Overy’s modern office building and the listed St Botolph’s Hall.The site also presented a number of challenges which needed to be overcome in terms of its size, orientation and environmental sensitivities.

Twenty Bishops Square is an outstanding showpiece illustrating how, with creative design, modern developments can blend seamlessly with contrasting surroundings and be delivered on time and to budget.The scheme is lined in progressive terracotta rainscreen cladding also known as ‘baguettes’ offering a clever alternative reference to the stunning architecture of St Botolph’s Hall in terms of brick material and colour.The end result is an impressive exhibition of design innovation, where the restored building showcases immaculate workmanship and attention to detail, while the new build element illustrates a solution that meticulously merges new and old. The final solution boasts truly cutting edge design, whilst remaining remarkably stylish and understated.

An innovative lightweight steel frame was used to combat the weight restriction imposed by building off existing foundations. The low mass of the cold pressed steel frame enabled four floors to be constructed on the small site as opposed to just the two floors which could have been built using traditional steel frames.

The building has been awarded a ‘Very Good’ EcoHomes rating achieved through a number of factors, one being a sedum roof – an undisturbed habitat replenishing a barren urban landscape.Land used for the building has been off-set with the green living roof, providing a habitat for birds and insects, encouraging bio diversity. It also minimises run-off reducing water waste.

This project is a joint entry by developers Native Land and Matthew Lloyd Architects

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