Barts Square (Masterplanning), EC1 London, UK
The Barts Square masterplan, developed by Sheppard Robson for Helical, establishes a new urban mixed-use quarter in the heart of the City of London. The 3.2 acre development includes 235,000ft² of office space, 30,000ft² of retail and 236 residential units.
The site is located in one of the most architecturally significant areas, in terms of quality and character, in the City of London. The proposals enhance these qualities through a sensitive yet contemporary reinterpretation of the existing fabric, seamlessly knitting-in where required, and creating new architectural statements where appropriate. Bordered by the City and St Paul’s Cathedral to the south, and by the soon to be regenerated Smithfield Market to the north, Barts Square is a permeable patchwork of buildings and uses, slotting into the existing street pattern of the area.
Located, in part, in the Smithfield Conservation Area, the historic plot widths and building scales have been retained, and the new buildings and their uses slotted into the existing patchwork. Poor quality post-war buildings have gone and been replaced with new buildings designed to complement the façades of the best bits of the existing which have been retained.
These new elements maintain the scale and materiality of their neighbours, with a palette of materials consisting of brick, stone, timber and glazed terracotta tiles – ‘robust’ traditional in feel. This helps to set up a dialogue between old and new, and integrates the buildings into the existing context.
The existing public realm is reanimated and transformed into a usable, pedestrian-friendly and highly legible environment, opening up historic links into soft and hard landscaped spaces. This was done whilst retaining and recreating discrete public, semi-private and private external spaces.
The larger of the office buildings, which falls just outside the conservation area, acts as an anchor-point for the whole development. It is distinctly modern in both form and materiality. Its use of metal screens, and floor-to-ceiling glazing, both reflects and embraces the scale of the modern City of London.
The smaller of the two office buildings was originally a linoleum and carpet warehouse and showroom, the façades of which have been retained and extended with a the addition of a modern glazed mansard roof pavilion.
The residential elements of Barts Square comprise a mix of high specification 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, and are a mix of retained façade and new-build.
- 13,000 m2