Occupying a site adjacent to Farringdon station, the HB Reavis development has occupier wellbeing and sustainability concerns at its focus. The building also responds to the busy context of its transportation hub location with the main entrance at ground level, providing a welcoming common space for those entering or leaving the building.
The site was acquired by HB Reavis in July 2018 with permission for an original scheme which JRA sought to adapt and achieve consent for with the London Borough of Islington. The majority of the project has been pre-let to a global company, which will occupy floors two to six. The first floor is dedicated to HB Reavis’ Ready to Work concept, a fully fitted and managed tech-enhanced workspace, which is already fully let.
Above the newly expanded and reconfigured Farringdon station hub, Bloom’s relationship with the rail network and the fast connections offered to the East and South-East is central to the building’s design. Conceived as a marker for the pedestrianised part of Cowcross Street, the project will act as a designator for both the future development of Farringdon station and the evolution of the wider neighbourhood for media and technology led businesses.
Materials for the building’s façades include faience, terracotta and anodised aluminium giving it a clear identity in relation to many of its neighbours. The deep-red terracotta complements the glazed terracotta utilised within the façade of the adjacent station. The façade’s colour symbolises the scarlet terracotta entrances of Leslie Green’s 44 London Underground stations, designed in the early 20th century, many of which have become synonymous with the overall branding of the network.
The diversity of materials is further reflected in the various floor finishes, furniture, landscaping designs and range of planting and lighting options. The use of neutral and stone coloured materials respond to the palette of Farringdon Road, blending the building’s interior with its external context.
The glazed to solid façade area ratio and façade depth was studied in order to achieve the optimal balance between the heat gain/loss and daylight requirements. The terracotta ventilated rainscreen forms an external sun shading element with varying depths depending on the façade orientation to the sun (shallow on the north façade and deep on the west and east façades) and protects the interior from the external noise pollution.
A reception area, accessed via Cowcross Street, includes a lounge and coffee bar as well as meeting and co-working spaces. It has a façade comprising smaller, human-scale, components to engage with passersby and creates a semi-public space. With openable dividing panels between integrated retail units and the reception area, JRA’s design translates the building’s permeability with Cowcross Street into its internal structure with the reception becoming an internal market-like space.
The design includes 240 ground floor spaces for cycles, with access directly from the TFL sponsored Cycle Superhighway 6, which runs past the western edge of the site. In-built shower and changing facilities are also provided.
Reflecting HB Reavis’ engagement with social value and employee wellbeing initiatives, those working in the building will be encouraged to use one of the seventh floor terraces for communal gardening and gardening workshops. Occupiers will be encouraged to grow and consume their own produce, while adding to Clerkenwell’s increasing quantities of urban greenery.
Bloom’s terrace space across the third, fifth, sixth and seventh floors were designed in conjunction with Studio Shaw, and implemented by JRA and Weedon. They reflect a change in mood and character from north to south, from looser, undefined spaces to a quieter, private ‘room’ space. The terraces offer external areas for meeting and socialising, while respecting neighbouring amenities through a series of human scale areas, which create a sense of enclosure and intimacy within a commercial setting. Views across London’s skyline encourage occupiers to engage with the terraces, for early morning exercise classes, post-work drinks, or networking events.
The Garden Room on the fourth floor covers 60 sq m, and can be used to host meetings or client events outdoors, throughout the year within a semi-closed space, which blends Bloom’s terraces and its internal office areas.
A 110 sq m onsite multipurpose fitness studio will provide customisable classes and workout sessions for occupiers that can be booked through an integrated building management software, allowing occupiers to integrate their exercise routines into their work schedules.
HB Reavis’ native building operating technology system was embedded throughout the first floor, allowing occupiers to adjust their working environment to suit their needs, with customisable lighting and temperature settings for each room and the ability to manage CO2 and humidity levels.
JRA’s design targets a WELL Platinum certification, advancing health and wellbeing in the built environment through conscious design. Additionally, Bloom has achieved a BREEAM Outstanding rating, a WiredScore Platinum certification and an Energy Performance Certificate A rating. Bloom targets net zero carbon in operation with energy from Citigen, an integrated photovoltaics module array installed on the roof, and responsible waste management systems.
Bloom’s construction processes and materials were sustainable throughout, aiming to achieving a zero waste project with no materials disposed of during construction, with all waste diverted to recycling. Sustainable waste management systems were integrated into the building’s design, including a blue roof attenuation system installed on the eighth and ninth floor roof areas, alongside retention tanks.