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See page 28 of this thread for the latest renderings (i.e. the revised proposal).

-- wjfox


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http://www.legalandgeneralgroup.com/media-centre/press-releases/2006/q2/2006-05-19.html
Legal & General launches Walbrook SquarePR team

19/05/2006

Legal & General has today submitted plans for a striking new office and retail development, to be known as ‘Walbrook Square’. The development will replace its existing buildings at Bucklersbury House, EC4. The project incorporates approximately 1 million sq ft net floorspace on the 3.7 acre site, with 95,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant floorspace and 875,000 sq ft of office space.

The development is centred around the creation of a new public square and new streets based on historic routes through the site, which will allow increased public access and permeability in the area. The square will be a vibrant public space at the heart of the City with international quality shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Also incorporated into Walbrook Square will be a publicly accessible exhibition space to house remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras, which are to be returned to their original location beside the ancient Walbrook river.

Walbrook Square will be an exemplar of world class architecture designed by Atelier Foster Nouvel, a unique architectural partnership between the practices of Lord Foster of Thames Bank and the leading French architect Jean Nouvel. It will be composed of four buildings each with their own distinct character but which together read as a cluster. The lower elements take the form of plinths which respond to local views and to the heights of surrounding buildings. The more lightweight upper elements or “clouds” will be seen from more distant views to float above the plinths and shimmer against the sky.

Tim Breedon, Chief Executive of Legal & General, commented:

“Walbrook Square will be a great place to work and do business in London. It will provide high quality and flexible office space, and will be a new and vibrant destination with its new public square at the heart of the City. It will have a rich mix of public space, shops, cafes and restaurants and a new public exhibition space for the Roman Temple of Mithras.”

Walbrook Square will be a landmark of world class contemporary architecture and a statement of L&G’s continued commitment to the City. We believe that it will help to reinforce both the City and London’s status as a world business and commercial centre.”

Legal & General has had the vision to create a unique development opportunity on the largest site in the City core, and the project is a sensitive response to the scale and historic location of the site.”

Norman Foster and Jean Nouvel, of Atelier Foster Nouvel, said:

“The creation of Walbrook Square presents the opportunity to rediscover a network of historic pedestrian routes and to introduce a new civic square - a valuable social focus for this special quarter of London. The “clouds” on top of the base of the buildings are designed as solar collectors - one of several components to make a sustainable and energy efficient workplace and local destination.”

Contacts
For further information please contact Ian Lindsley at Jefferson on 020 7256 8912 or 07887 681561.

Notes to Editors
Detailed plans have been submitted to the City of London to provide office, retail and storage accommodation at Walbrook Square of 90,705 sq m net internal area, or 976,371 sq ft. This includes 81,294 net sq m (875,070 sq ft) of office space and 8,793 net sq m (94,650 sq ft) of retail and restaurant space. The Bucklersbury House site has an area of 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres), and currently provides 50,650 sq m (545,210 sq ft) net internal area of office space and 2,497 sq m (26,878 sq ft) of retail space in five buildings (Bucklersbury House, Temple Court, 25 Bucklersbury, 69-75 Cannon Street and 71 Queen Street). The site currently provides outdated and inflexible office accommodation and poor quality retail on an impenetrable island site.
Walbrook Square has a gross external area of 133,880 sq m (1,441,119 sq ft). The existing buildings have a gross external area of 111,535 sq m (1,082,185 sq ft).

Walbrook Square comprises four individual buildings connected by new pedestrian routes running north-south and east-west:
Building 1 – Queen Victoria Street (106.65m, 22 storeys); offices - 29,774 sq m, retail - 3,241 sq m
Building 2 – Bucklersbury (67m, 12 storeys); offices – 16,920 sq m, retail – 1,722 sq m
Building 3 – Cannon Street (66.15m, 11 storeys); offices – 11,820 sq m, retail – 869 sq m
Building 4 – Queen Street (71.15m, 12 storeys); offices – 22,780 sq m, retail – 2,961 sq m

The four buildings each have their own distinct character but together read as a cluster. The lower elements take the form of plinths which are sculpted to respond to the surrounding building heights and local views. The more lightweight upper elements (“clouds”) will be seen from more distant views to float above the plinths and shimmer against the sky. The shape and massing of the “clouds” have also been designed to respect sensitive local views.
The scheme has been designed with St Paul’s Cathedral in mind and complies with the revised view corridors put forward within the GLA’s draft SPG (the London View Management Framework).

Walbrook Square will deliver a unique place in the City, and will provide a rich mix of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. A new public square will create a vibrant environment and animated public space. New pedestrian routes through the site will increase public access and help people move around the City.

The remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras are to be returned to their original location, within the development under Walbrook Square as a publicly accessible exhibition space. A reconstruction of the Temple of Mithras is currently located above a car park alongside Queen Victoria Street.
The site is extremely well served by public transport, being very close to three underground stations (Bank, Mansion House and Cannon Street, serving five lines), Cannon Street railway station and numerous bus routes servicing the City. London Underground proposes that a new access to the Waterloo & City line be incorporated within the development.

The scheme has been the subject of detailed consultation with the City of London, CABE, English Heritage, London Underground and the Greater London Authority.

The building is expected to achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating. It will include a suite of sustainable energy conservation measures and the feasibility of introducing borehole cooling and photovoltaics has been considered. Existing ground level private and underground public car parking will be closed. The development proposes space for 50 cars, 180 motorcycles and 552 bicycles.

In the summer of 2007, Legal & General is due to move its Group Headquarters and Investment Management business from the Bucklersbury House site to new City premises at No.1 Coleman Street, EC2.

A public exhibition setting out the proposals for Walbrook Square, including a visual display of images and models, will be held at Bucklersbury House (Budge Row off Cannon Street) on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 June 2006 from 10am-4pm.

Legal & General Property Limited. Registered address: Temple Court, 11 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4N 4TP. Registered in England 2091897.
John Morgan
Media Relations Director
Tel: 0207 528 6213
 

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jef said:
Also incorporated into Walbrook Square will be a publicly accessible exhibition space to house remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras, which are to be returned to their original location beside the ancient Walbrook river.
Halle-bloody-lujah. That pretty much has made my year.
 

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Sounds interesting, very interesting.
I like the sound of midrises, as long as they are meaningful midrises.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The press release in the Times:

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9064-2187222,00.html

The Times May 19, 2006

L&G floats plan for 'cloud building'
By Jenny Davey

LEGAL & GENERAL, the insurer, is submitting plans today for a one million sq ft redevelopment of Bucklersbury House, its headquarters in the City of London.
The retail and office development, which will be called Walbrook Square, will be the largest undertaken by L&G. The project, which is expected to cost more than £300 million, will cover 3.7 acres and will see L&G’s existing buildings replaced by offices, shops, cafés, restaurants and bars.

The development will centre around a new public square and streets based on historic routes through the site. An exhibition space housing the remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras, which were discovered in the City in 1957, will be incorporated into Walbrook Square.

The scheme has been designed by Lord Foster of Thames Bank and Jean Nouvel, the French architect.

It will feature four buildings on Queen Victoria Street, the tallest of which will be 106.65 metres high.

The lightweight upper structure is designed to resemble clouds and will appear, from a distance, to float above the lower elements of the building and “shimmer” against the sky.

L&G will include environmentally friendly features, such as photovoltaic cells, to achieve a good energy rating.

The insurer is developing the site because it will be moving its group headquarters from Bucklersbury House to a new building in the City.

L&G said that it was too early to say whether construction would start without tenants lined up. Tim Breedon, the L&G chief executive, said: “We believe that (the project) will help to reinforce both the City and London’s status as a world business and commercial centre.”

The scheme is one of the largest developments in the Square Mile and has been in the planning phases for several years.

It comes as developers prepare for a spate of new construction projects in the Square Mile. The latest crane survey by Drivers Jonas, the property consultant, shows that speculative office construction has nearly trebled, from 972,000 sq ft in November, to 2.9 million sq ft in the first quarter. This is the highest level for three years but is well below the 3.6 million sq ft in the first quarter of 2003.

GOOD RIDDANCE TO CITY EYESORE

Bucklersbury House has long been considered an eyesore in the City. Pevsner’s guide to the City of London rates it “the largest and dullest of London’s 1950s office blocks” and its olive-green curtain walling has gained no charm or patina over the past half century.

It was the first postwar building in the City to abandon the street line, a great 14-storey slab running from Queen Victoria Street to Cannon Street, extended by repetitively designed spurs on either side.

The L-shaped setback from Queen Victoria Street gave little to the pedestrian. In place of the lively shops and sandwich bars across the street, Bucklersbury House offered little more than a single corporate entrance in a vast city block.

The terrace created by the setback did not become one of the pleasantly planted pocket gardens that are one of the Square Mile’s main delights but served for a far-from-thrilling display of the remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras. This lost much of its authenticity by being re-oriented east-west instead of north-south.

Bucklersbury House is 14 storeys. The replacement will be 22, a big increase in a part of the City where there are fewer tall buildings. The commissioning of high-flying and adventurous architects is welcome in the City, where for years the design of offices has been dominated by commercial practices good at obtaining planning permission but rarely producing interesting architecture.

Lord Foster of Thames Bank has won acclaim for the “Gherkin” but some of his lower-rise offices have suffered from repetitiveness beginning to approach that of Bucklersbury House. Jean Nouvel, the French architect, is known as a perpetual enfant terrible but one sought after by commercial clients.
 

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I saw a rendering of this tower in the paper today.

It looks a shade taller than the UCL Hospital or Moorhouse, probably around the same height as the Stock Exchange Tower or Drapers Gardens.

It looks like a cross between the Umeda Skybuilding in terms of the 'clouds' which make up part of the design of the building and the Jardine Matheson tower in Hong Kong with its port hole windows. I think it looks very cool.

The Jean Nouvel building looked a bit wonky to me but I have to see more renders before making my mind up. The high rise bit looked good though.
 

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Very interesting. I'm guessing the "shimmer" described in the news article would be achieved by a top-quality facade, so I hope they get a good company in to do the job.
 

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dom said:
I saw a rendering of this tower in the paper today.

It looks a shade taller than the UCL Hospital or Moorhouse, probably around the same height as the Stock Exchange Tower or Drapers Gardens.

It looks like a cross between the Umeda Skybuilding in terms of the 'clouds' which make up part of the design of the building and the Jardine Matheson tower in Hong Kong with its port hole windows. I think it looks very cool.

The Jean Nouvel building looked a bit wonky to me but I have to see more renders before making my mind up. The high rise bit looked good though.
Any chance you can scan the images on to the thread ?
 

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Here you go:



Sorry about the quality as it was from today's times (also i couldn't get the paper to stay flat as i was taking it with my camera phone), but you get the general idea.
 

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Oh my God. What the hell is that?!

I was about to make a post about how wonderful this project sounds from those articles - the pedestrian routes and historic aspects, etc. - but from that photograph it looks awful!

Btw, this will be very prominent in the view from Waterloo Bridge. There are no other tall buildings nearby, so it will really stand out. It will also contain a massive amount of floorspace which could steal potential tenants away from the other, taller schemes.
 

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This is the current building on site -





You can see it here as well. It's those creamy white groundscrapers in front of St Helens/6-8 Bishopsgate. The new tower(s) will therefore partially obscure SwissRe and the lower half of 122 Leadenhall -


 

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What the hell!? That's just crazy. The back building looks interesting but what's with the one that looks like it's leaning on the other one?
 

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wjfox2002 said:
Oh my God. What the hell is that?!
I was about to make a post about how wonderful this project sounds from those articles - the pedestrian routes and historic aspects, etc. - but from that photograph it looks awful!
Will, It is terrible picture. Wait until we get some proper renders first.
 
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