Helicon, EC2 London, UK
Sheppard Robson was commissioned in 1991 to design a landmark building on the corner of Finsbury Pavement, London EC2. The result is one of London’s first sustainable developments to combine retail and offices into a building that is energy-efficient and economical. The Helicon provides two retail units facing onto Finsbury Pavement and South Place, flanking the office reception entrance.
The scheme pioneered the concept of animating the public realm through the provision of active and accessible anchor uses at street level in this part of The City. Inherent flexibility was built into the planning application use classes applied for, which allowed the units to be taken by a major food retailer and an international bank.
The food retail unit facing Finsbury Pavement, the largest unit, is split over several levels including basement level, and enjoys a visual connection between the street and all retailing floors through the provision of a three-storey glazed atrium on the street edge.
The desire for maximum transparency led to the use of a triple-glazed cladding system that could deal with solar gain and provide maximum daylight. An external single-glazed skin, forms uninterrupted, smooth east and west façades. The triple-glazed void has ventilation at top and bottom, allowing a flow of air to cool the space in summer; in winter the void is closed, and acts as a thermal buffer. Within the void, 450mm-wide, automated, perforated metal horizontal louvres, activated by external solarimeters and thermostats, can lower and tilt to control solar gain.
- London & Manchester Assurance Co Ltd
- 28,000 m2