This new commercial building is set to bring more than 42,000 sqm of Grade A, BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ office space to Islington, plus premium retail. This dynamic 27-storey structure integrates with the area’s existing urban grain and creates a bookend for the emerging cluster of towers around CityPoint and the Elizabeth Line entrance. The building has a strong vertical rhythm and steps up to 110m at its tallest point. The design features a series of stepped slices that protrude forward and recess back, facilitating a range of floorplates that can accommodate different-sized businesses.
The building has been designed using a natural limestone to reference the stone buildings within this area of Islington. Where the building steps back, an anthracite glazed ceramic offsets the stone and helps emphasise the shadows so that the building’s appearance subtly changes depending on the lighting conditions. The stepped heights create space for five large roof terraces, carefully designed to provide landscaping, seating and access to biodiversity and nature for tenants. In addition, most of the office floorplates have balconies, meaning virtually every floor has access to outdoor amenities. Natural materials such as stone have also been brought internally. A feature staircase runs behind the glazing on the south facade, providing an external visual connection to vertical circulation and encouraging users to walk rather than use lifts. With one tenant taking 14 storeys of the building, the ground floor has been adapted to provide two separate entrances.
Achieving BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ 2018 (design), it is believed to be the largest commercial building to secure the accreditation, and is aiming to achieve WELL V2 Platinum. It has been designed to use materials efficiently and minimise waste where possible. This has been supplemented and supported through the use of a BRE materials sourcing plan that was produced and implemented within the project that has resulted in a responsible sourcing core of 26.6 per cent. Additionally, products with EPD’s (Environmental Product declarations) have been prioritised as part of the design process to ensure they are environmentally produced and responsibly sourced.
The building has minimal structural columns in order to optimise internal flexibility. Combined with the stepped form, this ensures the floorplates can cater for different sized businesses and provide future flexibility for tenants to adjust their space as their requirements change. The structure has also been designed to accommodate ‘soft spots’ where floors can interconnect. Engineering and vertical transportation systems will allow maximum flexibility over the life of the building with minimal adaptation required. Plant has been located to allow for easy upgrades and risers can be sub-divided to suit variations in occupancy levels.
The building neatly transitions between the lower street blocks on the east, stepping up towards the taller emerging cluster of taller buildings on the west enabling an increase in density which is considered and responsive to the surrounding area and local views. The facade materials also echo character of this part of Islington. At ground level, the building’s form folds to create a new public space on the corner of Ropemaker Street and Finsbury Pavement, improving and increasing the public realm in anticipation of the Elizabeth Line. Animated retail frontages will also foster a vibrant pedestrian area.