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As this is shaping up to be a rather controversial building I thought it could do with its own thread so people could make comments.

The proposal by John Mcaslan + Partners http://www.mcaslan.co.uk/ is for "a new seven storey building with basement and lower ground floor level to provide Class B1 office use and Class A1 use".

It replaces a familar (but not much loved) late 1960's building at the junction of Cheapside and New Change;



the pre-war buildings;



The proposal by Mcaslan's which recently won planning permission from the Corporation of London;

http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=297&storycode=3145864&c=1#ixzz0MZuaCnER

St Martins Property Group has won planning consent for a scheme at one of the last remaining development sites around St Paul’s Cathedral and Paternoster Square in the City of London.

The City of London Corporation’s planning and transportation committee granted consent for the scheme at 5 Cheapside which comprises 87,000 sq ft of office space across eight storeys with around 20,000 sq ft of retail.

The scheme which is bounded by the buildings of St Paul’s and Paternoster Square was designed by John McAslan & Partners. It will include a 16 metre cantilevered entrance extending over the entrance to St Paul’s Tube station.

English Heritage objected to the scheme which is said is ‘not appropriate for this particularly sensitive location. Any replacement building should follow the aims of the Whitfield master plan to create a calm, understated form of development which allows the cathedral to remain preeminent’.

The cladding of the building is considered unusual and as a condition of the consent the developer has to construct a large sample of the cladding off-site for inspection by the members of the planning committee.













One of the most notable aspects of the new building will be its use of flush glass panelling with a wire-mesh interlayer. The intention is to have two different sizes of mesh as well as colour panels behind the glass to give the facade some variety at ground/office level and also as you walk around the building;









As with New Change across the road, the form of Number 5 is partially dictated by the St Paul's sightlines - but did you know there is also a St Pauls Depth Act? Intended to maintain the structural integrity of the Cathedral, meaning you cannot dig too deep or too close to Wren's building.


Personally I like the material being used here which has the potential to be rather beautiful I think - but I have reservations about the form of the building particularly the way it appears to "turn its side" to the long view down Cheapside.
 

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from skyscrapernews, http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=1385 -

St Martins Property Investments is planning a new office building designed by John McAslan architects for the sensitive site of 5 Cheapside barely 100 metres from St Paul's Cathedral.

It will replace an old seven storey largely concrete office building known colloquially as "the Octagon" thanks to its eight sides.

Within 5 Cheapside will be 9,984 square metres of gross internal floorspace of which the vast bulk, 8087 square metres, will be offices, almost doubling what is currently there. There will also be retail located on the lower floors replacing the existing space.

The building proposals are noticeable for their somewhat unusual design that has given the scheme a distinctive shape that includes a two storey cantilever on the north side of the building over the adjacent London Underground entrance.

Extending over the Underground Station will also allow the building to follow the historic street plan and reject the lone block philosophy the Octagon champions.

Elsewhere, chamfered upper floors mitigate the bulk whilst helping the building relate to its immediate surroundings and blend in more with the urban streetscape when viewed from St Paul's as it will slope down from the trees that separate it from the cathedral.

Clad in a complicated glazing system that employs a woven brass metal layer that is integrated with the glass giving an opaque outer view of the main floors whilst allowing the office occupants to still see out.

The effect of the panels, set flush to each other, is intended by the architect to create a "sculptural qualities... enhanced by the homegenous surface treatment of the building, represented as a series of 'polished' cut surfaces."
 

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I like the cantilever, however find it a shame they didn't take CABE's advice and switch the Tube entrance 180 degrees so the steps now come up to the view of the cathedral rather than the road. The cladding looks interesting and certainly echos One New Change.

Does anyone have an aerial plan?
 

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I like the cantilever, however find it a shame they didn't take CABE's advice and switch the Tube entrance 180 degrees so the steps now come up to the view of the cathedral rather than the road. The cladding looks interesting and certainly echos One New Change.

Does anyone have an aerial plan?


Im pretty sure the building is cantilevered with the LU entrance unresolved as its for LU to decide what they are going to do when they spruce up St Pauls station.
 

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cockney sparrow
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It's better than the woeful paternoster buildings next door, and there's quite a charm to it in this location, but I'm a big fan of the current building and I don't think this is a good enough replacement.
 

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Looks okay but uninspiring. Rather than suggest a better alternative, it seems a shame that anything needs to be there at all. Compared to most of Europe's great cathedrals, St Pauls is very hemmed in. Obviously the owners of this land are obliged to maximise their return, but what a shame this couldn't be an open space, giving the cathedral some space to breathe.
 

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cockney sparrow
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It's funny you say that because what I love most about St. Pauls is just how built up the area immediately around it is, it doesn't try and set itself apart from the city, it doesn't need to, it's such a magnificent building no matter what is built nearby it could never be undermined. And the fact you cite it as being different to other European Cathedrals is a good thing surely? Further highlighting the uniqueness of the building and its setting. I always feel that EH are downright patronising in their desire to "protect" St. Pauls, as though as a piece of architecture it could so easily be ruined by a development elsewhere, which is plain poppycock.
 

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I have to agree, I wish that the surrounding developments were as low but dense as they were back in pre war times, the Idea that St Pauls is just plonked between victorian shops and houses is just amazing.
 

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It's funny you say that because what I love most about St. Pauls is just how built up the area immediately around it is, it doesn't try and set itself apart from the city, it doesn't need to, it's such a magnificent building no matter what is built nearby it could never be undermined. And the fact you cite it as being different to other European Cathedrals is a good thing surely? Further highlighting the uniqueness of the building and its setting. I always feel that EH are downright patronising in their desire to "protect" St. Pauls, as though as a piece of architecture it could so easily be ruined by a development elsewhere, which is plain poppycock.
I'm just imagaining what a beautiful space you could have where you could relax with a drink and take in the surroundings. Currently the nearest we have to that is drinking a Starbucks on the front steps.
I do appreciate your points though - St Pauls couldn't be undermined, and part of its character does stem from its confines.
Incidentally I remember Billy Conolly making a comparable point about concert halls. He was in Sydney talking about the Opera house which totally dominates and can see from miles away. By comparison the Royal Albert Hall is an (arguably) equally stunning building in its own way, but you barely see it until you're virtually on top of it. Other than the dome, St Pauls is much the same.
 

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The worst area around St Pauls is the backend which has little in the way of 'development'. Coach car park, disjointed 'garden', roads that are too wide dispersing into a depressing dead office waste land down toward Victoria St.

An empty space here would just exhasperate the problem. better just to have the churchyard (minus the riduculous walls) and pasternoster sq and tie in the rest with a tight knit Cheapside.
 

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The 1970s St Pauls school doesn't help either.

This area is becoming quite a little community of angular facades when you think about - One New Change, the MAKE visitor centre, and now this. Still can't tell much about that cladding from the planning application but certainly nothing wrong with a bit of gold now and then.
 

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I agree with DarJoLe that the tube entrance should be realigned.

As far as I can tell from Fitz's renders, the existing cruddy hutch that forms the tube station entrance will be untouched while the golden wonder flies overhead.

Nothing wrong with a bit of cantilevering, but I'd rather see the tube entrance better integrated, either with the new building (thus further respecting the old street plan, if this matters) or, keep the cantilever and have a "hole in the ground", but one that is architecturally engaged with the surroundings, whether trad (Bank) or modern (future TCR).
 

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I hope this building looks better in real life than it does in the perspectives. The perspective looking west from Cheapside is particularly unfortunate. Technically and form wise, this is a very interesting modern building, and the general scale, footprint and form are fine, but the cladding does not seem right for this particular site and context.

Having a tube exist with a view to St Paul's would also have been welcome, it is St Paul's tube after all and one always feels disorientated when coming out of the exit and not having some sense of orientation as to where St Paul's actually is.
 

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It looks a bit of a blob even if the cladding is good. On the one hand I dont suppose I would expect something amazing or too ornate as it would detract from St Pauls but surely something a bit more interesting externally would be better.

The cantilever bit does look good though.
 

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Londinium langur
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I think the proposal looks really good. Why all the hostility? It's replacing concrete garbage with an interesting little building. The irregular angular shape is cool without trying too hard. I also think the gold textured cladding could be really nice. The pre-WWI buildings were much better but they're never coming back and we never knew them in our lifetimes.
 
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