The site is predominantly surrounded by existing buildings causing problems of poor aspect and access. It is restricted by 71 Fenchurch Street (a listed building) and by the obligation to retain the facades of Coronation House and 68–70 Fenchurch Street. The development is also obliged to respect the conservation area of Lloyd’s Avenue, the churchyard, the mature existing trees and the peaceful setting. In addition, the existing public right of way passing through the site was to be retained and integrated.
To address the challenge of providing the required amount of new accommodation within the remaining space, three slender, tapered rectangular blocks fan out alongside two dramatic glazed atria, varying in height from six to 14 levels.
The atria, central to the design concept, allow light into and views out of the building at all levels, despite the constrictions of the site.
Most of the proposed accommodation is contained in the two taller blocks, while the third block backs up onto the seven-storey retained facade of Coronation House. On the opposite side of the site, a rigorously detailed and uncompromisingly contemporary concrete, steel and glass facade celebrates the only point at which the building makes its presence felt on the street. Within this basic diagram, environmental considerations are optimised. The naturally ventilated atria act as buffers mediating between the internal and external climates, the narrow profile of the offices optimises access to daylight and views, and the building structure and cladding minimise cooling requirements.
Highly transparent clear glazed atria, lifts and stairwells provide instant legibility, and allow views into and out of the building at all levels. Colour-coded steel work also acts as an orientating device that is legible both in the broader context of the city and from within the building.
The environmental strategy is based on utilising the thermal mass of the pre-cast concrete frame, the reduction of solar gain by high performance glazing, automatically controlled external louvers, and the use of an energy efficient chilled beam cooling system.
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