10 Gresham Street

10 Gresham Street, London - United Kingdom, Foster and Partners
Construction year: 2003
Address: 10 Gresham Street | LONDON | United Kingdom
Latitude/Longitude: 51.51566, -0.09493

The City of London and its environs are characterized by relatively low-rise buildings laid out on an essentially medieval street plan. Designing infill buildings in this context is a delicate balancing act between commercial requirements, the need for flexibility, and respect for the areas historical character and traditional materials. This new office development is located in the a particularly sensitive area of the City, just south of the Guildhall, and close to two nineteenth-century livery halls, the Wax Chandlers Hall and Goldsmiths Hall.

Eight storeys above ground, the building adopts the optimum template for new office development in the City: 18-meter-deep, uninterrupted floor plates line a wide central atrium, which extends below ground level to bring daylight down into the basement floors, dissolving conventional distinctions between ground and subterranean levels. Heightening this sense of light and space, the lifts and lobbies are all glazed so as to refract sunlight around the circulation spaces. Externally, the building responds to the City tradition of rich natural materials. The corner stair towers, which anchor the building visually, are clad in limestone, the stone flank walls wrapping into the building to provide a point of continuity between inside and outside. The ventilated, triple-glazed office facades, which incorporate wooden louvers to control solar gain and glare, are designed to maximize natural light levels, minimize energy consumption and ensure a high level of environmental comfort.

The development takes advantage of a site bounded almost entirely by streets, to create a stand-alone building, a comparatively rare achievement in the City. To the south, it is pulled back from the site boundary to create a more respectful relationship with the Wax Chandlers Hall. The resulting passage between the two buildings opens out into a small public court, used as a cut-through to the adjacent Gutter Lane or simply as somewhere to sit and have lunch. The new building, in this way, not only offers a light and flexible work space but also reinforces the traditional pattern of streets and passageways that give the City its charm and character.

Client: Standard Life Investments
Consultants: Waterman Partnership , Davis Langdon and Everest/Mott Green Wall, Roger Preston & Partners, Charles Funke Associates, Claude Engle

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