Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Billingsgate Market

Billingsgate Market


National Westminster Bank Plc

London, UK

Gross Floor Area
1, 200 m²

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Having completed Lloyd’s of London, the practice found that attitudes in the City of London were developing a stronger emphasis on conservation and a predilection on the part of the planners for ‘contextual’ – often Post Modernist – designs where new buildings were concerned. The practice strongly favoured the retention of historic buildings of quality and agreed to advise the conservation group SAVE on its campaign to preserve the redundant Billingsgate fish market, owned by the City (which proposed to demolish it for redevelopment).

In the event, the market was retained and acquired by a major bank for conversion as a financial-services building. The client sought a large area of open dealing floor space – to which the Victorian structure was ideally suited.

Externally, the aim was to restore lost details and to clean and repair, but to add nothing new. Inside, some changes were needed, chiefly to open up and use the huge basement vaults which entirely lacked natural light. The main floor of the market was uncompromised by the addition of the new galleries which are lightweight and structurally independent of the existing building. One of the most striking internal spaces is the former ‘haddock gallery’, which was left intact and converted for office use. Close attention was paid to detailing to ensure an immaculate junction between old and new.

Rogers commented on the scheme: ‘We sought harmony of modern with old in a single building’.



1990BBC Design Awards Finalist
1989RIBA National Award
1989Civic Trust Award
1988RIBA Regional Award


National Westminster Bank Plc

London, UK

Gross Floor Area
1, 200 m²

Structural Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners

Services Engineer
Ove Arup & Partners

Quantity Surveyor
GA Hanscomb Partnership

Lighting Consultant
Lighting Design Partnership

Taylor Woodrow


Tom Alexander

Peter Angrave

David Barlett

Pierre Botschi

John Cannon

Philip Chalmers

Tom Colquhoun

Mike Davies

Patrick Davies

Sally Draper

Marco Goldschmied

Ian Hopton

Shahab Kasmai-Tehran

Lester Korzilius

Clodagh Latimer

Mary Le Jeune

Amanda Levete

Kevin Lewenden

Avtar Lotay

John Lowe

Ernest Lowinger

Luke Lowings

Janette Mackie

Richard Marzec

Arif Mehmood

Malcolm McGowen

Natalie Moore

Frank Peacock

Mark Roche

Richard Rogers

Seth Stein

Peter Thomas

John Young