51 Eastcheap, EC3 London, UK
Sheppard Robson's office development for Stanhope will strip the existing 1980s building back to its concrete frame, using this as the base to create a BREEAM Excellent office development that enhances its complex urban setting.
The building occupies a prominent location on Eastcheap, adjacent to the Grade-I listed St Margaret Pattens Church, and completes the urban block defined by Plantation Place. Sheppard Robson’s design strategy for the façades uses a rational interlocking grid structure that is characterised by the use of stone to the south and west elevations, and defined by the use of aluminium to the north side of the site. The change in materials helps the new design mediate between the different characters of busy Eastcheap and the pedestrianised Plantation Lane.
The design’s principle conceptual strategy builds upon the unique site opportunities of the project that stem from the long vista from Monument looking east along Eastcheap. From this viewpoint, the two vertical grids of the south and west elevations vary and – due to the perspective – create unified, regular façades, with the subtle change in geometry of the cladding emphasising the rotation of the site.
The facades also play a major role in boosting the projects sustainability credentials: the south and west facades include solar shading and have been designed to a ratio of 35% glass.
The refurbishment includes substantial changes to the structure, including adding an extra floor to the top of the building that helps increase the size of the development by 20%. Other major changes include the addition of a secondary northern entrance to the development on Plantation Lane and the transformation of the current external courtyard at the centre of the building into an internal atrium.