This ‘groundscraper' building is conceived as a perfectly cast form; an engine-block with surfaces and details which are beautifully machined. The scale of the impressive 12-storey building is offset with materials, details and figurations that radiate an unmistakable sense of a crafted form. This pursuit of precision will produce a cast metal architectural block with graphically accentuated solids and voids, light and shadow.
The building's internal function will inform the elevational treatment, determining the window openings and facade indentation. The trading and office floorplates are expressed as linear openings, while stairs and lifts inform their own language of vertical and diagonal slots. The sculptural qualities and variations in finish were employed in the evolution of the building mass and envelope design.
The same material, with a variation in finish, reinforces the strength of the initial concept and provides the building with a singular identity and presence which reflects its bespoke nature and single occupier. The finish incorporates natural stainless steel panels with a surface finish which varies depending on the treatment applied to the reveal and indents.
The primary aim of the client was to create extremely large trading floors, and as such the arrangement of the structure and cores is ultra-rational, providing four state-of-the-art trading floors and seven floors of offices and trading support. There are a total of 3,000 trading desks, with 750 traders working on each floor. In terms of financial trading conditions, 5 Broadgate will set a new standard for both the City and Canary Wharf.
The building's energy-use performance will be equally cutting edge. The design is projected to deliver a BREEAM rating of 'excellent', with carbon emissions exceeding the London Plan Review target by 10% and the Part L 2006 requirements by 54%. Photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels will help to provide hot water and electricity, and a ‘greened' roof and mid-height terrace indents will improve biodiversity. Atria and vertical cut-outs in the building form bring natural light into the heart of the upper segment offices.