London City Hall

Construction year: 2002
Address: Greater London Authority, City Hall, The Queen's Walk, More London | LONDON | United Kingdom
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5047, -0.07869

London City Hall was designed by Foster and Partners, one of Britain’s leading architects, whose design brief was to create a building for the GLA that would become a new landmark for the capital.It is part of the More London development located between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, on the south bank of the Thames.The built form of City Hall is a distinctive glass globe, with a purpose built assembly chamber and offices for GLA staff. The building is 45 metres high, with 185,000 sq ft (gross) of floor space spread over 10 floors.

In conventional terms, the building has no front or back: its shape is derived from a geometrically modified sphere. This hybrid form is designed to minimize the surface area exposed to direct sunlight. The design incorporates as a number of features designed to make the building as green as possible.City Hall comprises a meeting chamber, committee rooms and public facilities, together with offices for the Mayor, London Assembly Members and GLA staff. It provides 185,000 sq ft (gross) of space on ten levels.The building offers flexible office space that can be sub-divided into as many cellular offices as required or kept open-plan. Partitions can be solid or transparent. The brief required provision for 54 cellular offices with the remaining space open-plan.The Chamber allows a number of different uses, configurations and functions. There is fixed seating for 250 members of the public but the floor of the Chamber can be used for an unlimited range of events. The Chamber has extensive views over the river and towards the City of London.

City Hall – a ‘green’ building

The energy strategy for City Hall enables it to run on a quarter of the energy consumed by a typical high specification office building. This is achieved not only through the use of ecologically sound, passive environmental control systems, but also through the shape and alignment of the building. The building’s form and geometry has been generated as result of thorough scientific analysis, aiming to reduce both solar gain and heat loss via the building’s skin. Minimizing the surface area of the building results in maximum efficiency in energy terms.

The building’s form is derived from a sphere, which has approximately 25 per cent less surface area than a cube of the same volume. The building leans back towards the south, where floor plates are stepped inwards from top to bottom, providing natural shading from the most intense direct sunlight.The building is naturally ventilated, with openable windows in all office spaces. Heat generated by computers and lights is recycled. The deep-plan floors allow for the collection of heat at the building’s core, which can then be redirected to its periphery.

The combination of all these energy saving systems means that there is no need for chillers in the building.Electrical consumption is reduced by avoiding refrigeration and using cold ground water to air-condition the building. The water is extracted from the water table beneath London through two bore holes and used to cool the building and then used in toilets and for irrigation savings on mains water.In order to reduce the building’s electrical consumption further, in 2007 solar panels are being installed on the roof of the building, to allow City Hall to generate its own solar power.

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