of

Collaboration pays off in the city

Nick Myall
Tuesday 09 Feb 2016

A new 15-storey office building makes a virtue out of a challenging triangular plot in London’s Midtown

This striking scheme, designed by the collaborative architectural team of Doone Silver Architects and Flanagan Lawrence, occupies a triangular site bounded by Fetter Lane and New Fetter Lane in London, UK. Its innovative, rotating stepped form responds to the low-rise Chancery Lane Conservation Area to the west and the higher-rise commercial developments of New Street Square to the east.

The building’s slender vertical ‘hinge’ defines the meeting point of these two streets. The scale change between West and East elevations is resolved by a cascade of double storey stepped terraces rotating around the southern vertical hinge - the hinge expressed by a translucent glazed staircase, filtering natural light during the day and glowing as a vertical white beacon at night.

This feature creates a powerful focal point when approaching the building from Fleet Street, and the building is now a distinct landmark when viewed from the South.

Commenting on the project David Lawrence of Flanagan Lawrence said: "This is an elegant building where a refined attention to detail permeates the whole design. Everyone involved in the design and delivery of this project can be justifiably proud."

The external envelope of the building is composed almost entirely of glass. The core is clad in pale grey opaque glass vertical panels, whilst the principal clear glazing to the offices is expressed as a multi-faceted and reticulated surface. These diamond-cut façades generate multiple complex reflections, capturing light and constantly changing in both pattern and appearance throughout the day - a highly modelled façade that references the historic diamond dealing district of Hatton Garden immediately to the north.

John Silver, Design Director at Doone Silver Architects said: "The stepped form, rotating through the triangular site around a slender stair tower, provides a dynamic response to the building's urban context and unlocks highly versatile open floorplates. It has been a fantastic experience to work so closely with Great Portland Estates and the entire team to design and deliver this unique building."

The prime quality office space within the building benefits from high levels of natural light, excellent external awareness and impressive views across London. The Northern vertical service core mirrors the Southern staircase, containing lifts, WCs, on-floor air handling plant and service risers. This core, containing the chillers and the telescopic building maintenance unit, then continues at roof level and is expressed as a single spine around which the whole building is organised.

The ground floor of the building is set back, defining the different spaces and uses at street level. The first of these is the main entrance lobby that runs most of the length of the New Fetter Lane elevation – a single clear volume viewed through a full height and full width glass wall, consisting of gigantic glazed panels supported by almost invisible glass fins. Retail units add activity to the new urban park on Plough Place. The single basement level contains additional central plant space together with cycle parking, changing rooms with showers and building management accommodation.

Environmental sustainability has also been a key factor throughout the development of the design. The building achieves a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, offering a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions compared to current building regulations.

12 New Fetter Lane will be occupied by international law firm Bird & Bird, with fit-out completing in Summer 2016.

 

Nick Myall

News Editor

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team
Jobs
  • Town Planning Manager | Housebuilder in Surrey | 3+ years' PQE

    Are you a Town Planner with some commercial experience under your belt (consultancy or developer)? Would you like to work for a regional housebuild...
    • Lewis Davey
    • Surrey - near M25/M23 junction
  • Principal Planning Consultant (Policy)

    This is a career opportunity for somebody looking to play a key role in the delivery of an effective and efficient planning policy service.
    • Capita
    • Manchester/Salford (North West) or Breckland or North Tyneside or Barnet (North London)
  • Senior Planning Officer

    A vacancy has arisen in the Development Management Section of the Planning Services Division for a part-time Senior Planning Officer.
    • South Derbyshire District Council
    • Derbyshire
  • Planning Officers

    Work as key members of the Councils development management service providing pre-application advice, dealing with applications and appeals.
    • Chiltern and South Bucks Council
    • Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • Enforcement Officer - Hertfordshire

    A Local Authority in Hertfordshire are looking for an Enforcement Officer to assist them with a backlog of cases for an initial contract of 3-6 months
    • Oyster Partnership
    • Hertfordshire