|Date & Time:||March 5, 2019 6:00 pm||Add to Calendar (.ics)|
By kind permission of the occupiers, we have been able to get the chance for CULS members and guests to tour the Bloomberg Building, designed by Norman Foster + Partners and winner of the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture.
This £1 billion office, described as “the largest stone building built in the City of London since St Paul’s Cathedral”, has just won the biggest prize in British architecture – the Stirling Prize judging panel said it is a “once-in-a-generation project which has pushed the boundaries of research and innovation in architecture”.
Encompassing an entire block of central London, Bloomberg’s pioneering new European headquarters has been credited as the world’s most sustainable office. Great slabs of Derbyshire sandstone and fins of hand-patinated Japanese bronze form the grand facade of the ten-storey building. The site’s two buildings, connected by a bridge, sit either side of a new public arcade which re-establishes an ancient Roman road, incorporates new access to Bank Underground station and sits over the Temple of Mithras.
RIBA president Ben Derbyshire has hailed the project as “a monumental achievement”, saying: “The creativity and tenacity of Foster + Partners and the patronage of Bloomberg have not just raised the bar for office design and city planning, but smashed the ceiling”.
Derbyshire has added that, “This building is a profound expression of confidence in British architecture – and perfectly illustrates why the UK is the profession’s global capital. This role and reputation must be maintained, despite the political uncertainty of Brexit”.
Lord Foster, founder of winning architecture firm Foster + Partners, said: “From our first discussions to the final details of the project, Mike Bloomberg and I had a ‘meeting of minds’ on every aspect of the project – its sustainable focus, commitment to innovation and drive to create the best workplace for Bloomberg employees.
“The RIBA Stirling Prize is a testament to the incredible collaborative spirit that has underpinned the entire project from start to finish.”
Pioneering new technologies include multi-function ceilings fitted with 2.5 million polished aluminium petals to regulate acoustics, temperature and light and magnetic floorboards.
Impressively, at 1.1 million square feet the building has similar floor space to Canary Wharf’s central tower yet it is only 10 storeys high.
“By building at a lower height than approved at planning, reserving parts of the site for public space, and using highly-detailed, handcrafted materials, Bloomberg shows a high level of generosity towards the City,” said Sir David Adjaye OBE, chair of the 2018 judging panel.
“The real success though is in the experience for staff, visitors or passers-by – how Bloomberg has opened up new spaces to sit and breathe in the City; the visceral impact of the roof-top view across to St Paul’s from the concourse space, the energy of descending the helix ramp or settling into a desk in one of the dynamic new workspaces.”
Given its size, the client, Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and the eleventh richest person in the world, wanted the building to be a “good neighbour”, with the inclusion of public space and the sensitively designed sandstone and bronze exterior.
Jon Astbury of the Architects Journal has said that, “In its ambition to be a trailblazing and trend-setting office design, this building is the spiritual successor of Foster’s 1975 Willis building”.
Tickets for this event are bookable via a suggested donation which you are invited to make.