New tower for Willis in the City of London
Foster + Partners has completed a new UK headquarters for Willis at 51 Lime Street in the City of London. The project is significant in both urban and environmental terms. Open and integrated at street level, its shops and cafés extend the spirit of nearby Leadenhall Market; and its progressive environmental strategy surpasses statutory carbon reduction targets by more than 20 per cent.
The development comprises two separate buildings which step down to a public plaza. Located to the east of the Lloyd’s Building, the 9-storey building at 1 Fenchurch Street responds to the smaller scale of Billiter Street and Fenchurch Avenue, while the 28-storey Willis Building rises to the west of the site. The smaller building’s concave façade shapes the plaza and its curved corners maintain important view corridors, as well as reinstating an historic route through the site. A fringe of shops, cafés and bars at its base together with linear seating and landscaping, combine to enhance the public realm.
On plan, Willis’ London headquarters has been developed as a series of overlapping curved shells while its section is arranged in three steps. The roof terraces overlooking the plaza on the lower two steps are directly accessible from the office spaces. Both buildings have a central core to provide open floor plates and maximum flexibility in use. The entire development is visually unified by its highly reflective façade. The pressed form of the panels and their mica finish give them depth and texture. A dynamic effect is established through the interplay of solid and glazed panels arranged in a saw-tooth pattern, the fins also increase insulation while reducing glare and solar gain.
Together with the highly efficient services equipment and systems in the building, the façade design is integral to the energy strategy, which is rated BREEAM Excellent.
Norman Foster said: ‘Thirty years ago we worked with Willis to challenge the conventions of an office building. Today, we are delighted to have completed their new UK headquarters at 51 Lime Street. A collaboration with both Willis and British Land, this building has come out of a very different design process, yet continues the practice’s commitment to developing humane, flexible and dynamic workplaces that are both informed by, and woven into, the urban fabric.’
being one of the people who runs this site (and others) willis invited me along and gave me a tour of their new hq.
i can tell you it's quite stunning although naturally i was more interested in the views from it than the interiors as amazing as they are. took about 20 pics in all in and around it and here they are -
you can see her just peaking over lloyds and lombard street from waterloo
well here it is, complete with the concave entrance and as you can see there's lloyds on the left and the gherkin down the street.
this is the top level terrace. 97.1 metres high, we'll get to there in a bit.
they have remodelled at ground level and we have recessed lower floor expanding the pavements inside the building envelope
the lift lobbies have to be seen to be believed. they belong in battlestar galatica. i never thought to photograph them. max fenton of structuretone took this one.
the lift from the ground floor takes a mere 15 seconds to reach the top of the building! this is the executive dining room on the 23rd floor
and the executive terrace which is on the other side of the corridor from the dining room. just walk out into it.
our old friend the gherkin
great view of tower 42
you get a pretty good view of lloyds of london though its too close and big to photo in its entirety. you can see how they fixed the cranes on the top.
this is the view from the associates terrace towards st pauls with lloyds of london's atrium in the foreground
and of the broadgate tower
and their restaurant that looks like this
if you want to take a look at the willis building yourself a little bird (actually a hot south african blonde) has told me they are going to be part of openhouse this year. next month - a tour of the under construction city lofts tower in sheffield, but unless you read that forum you'll blink and miss it.
Stunning, stunning, stunning its breathtaking! Welcome in "Fosters world".
End a hell of a stupid like Boris Johnson will put a end of high-rise buildings in London is absolutly a shame! Very very bad news for London because it is doiing it so well right now!
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