150 CheapsideEdit profile
150 Cheapside, developed by St Martins and designed by Michael Aukett Architects, occupies a pivotal location in the City of London, a landmark site that demanded a high-quality building of architectural distinction. The three former buildings on the site, dating from the 1920s and 1960s, had inefficient floorplates and displayed no significant architectural merit. The surrounding public realm was poor and uninviting. Accordingly, the former offices were not viable for major occupiers, nor suitable for refurbishment. Earlier proposals, which gained permission in 1992, did not meet the requirements for an occupiers� needs in the 21st century. New approach: St Martins therefore started with a new brief in 2000. The objectives were: Quality: a state-of-the-art building, suitable for international occupiers, designed to achieve an �Excellent� BREEAM rating. It was one of the first buildings in the City to be awarded this rating (and the only building under the 2005 guidelines). Maximising office content and natural lighting: within the townscape and height constraints of the location to achieve occupancy levels of 1:10m2, with two levels enhanced to 1:7m2. Introduction of new A1 and A3 retail accommodation: without diminishing the status of a �headquarters� site, all set within an enhanced public realm. Arrival experience: double-height lobby with quality finishes fronting Cheapside and a concierge management approach. Flexibility and efficiency: floorplates with diverse services risers, enhanced fire escape strategy, flexibility for open plan or cellular accommodation, and excellent lift service. Sustainable and resilient: providing occupiers with environmental cooling, low energy luminaires with sensors for economical lighting, water efficiency and standby power generation. Facilities management: controlled loading bay with limited car parking but extensive bicycle and motorcycle bays, shower and changing facilities, and recycling facilities. In 2000 Michael Aukett Architects were appointed to deliver St Martins� vision was to create a striking, iconic office building that met the requirements of the modern day corporate occupier and was able to blend in with its historic setting. 150 Cheapside provides a total of 182,740 sq ft of office space on eight floors with a stunning roof terrace, together with 22,000 sq ft of retail in five separate units. Complex development requiring thoughtful design: 150 Cheapside is in close proximity to three Wren churches, St Paul�s Cathedral, St Vedast Church and St Mary le Bow. The peninsular site, bounded on three sides by roadways and on the fourth side by the grade II listed no. 16 St Martin�s House on St Martins Le Grand, does not form part of the St Paul�s height policy area but is at the edge of the Strategic viewing corridor from Alexandra Palace and within Strategic View Consultation Area. The relationship with the nearby classical stone churches and the strategic viewing corridors to St Paul�s Cathedral was key to the design. It provided challenges to the development�s height, informed the palette of materials and contributed to the success of 150 Cheapside by providing a stunning backdrop to the working environment. The site is bounded by the historic street patterns of the city, but there was a need to improve the public realm particularly in Foster Lane. At ground level, the significant provision of A1 and A3 retail units that replaced the existing stock provided new impetus at pavement level by being open and inviting. They are fully integrated into the building�s design with unobstructed and attractive frontages on St Martins Le Grand and Foster Lane encouraging a high level of interaction with the uses of the site. Foster Lane has also been enhanced with a widened pavement, new road and pavement finishes and retail units. The corner of Foster Lane and Cheapside has been reinstated and celebrated with a round curve at ground floor that is more welcoming and provides a smooth transition into Foster Lane with views to St Vedast Church. The small area of formerly under-used space on the corner of Cheapside and Foster Lane has been transformed to provide an open area for the public. The primary aim for the design was to provide as simple and open plan large floor plates as possible to maximise the development potential of the site. Cores were positioned inboard in the deepest part of the floor plan to allow unfettered views and access for office occupiers to the perimeter. An atrium in the deepest part of the floor plan allows natural light to enter the building. The structural grid of 9x9m and planning grid of 1.5m are integrated to allow for absolute flexibility in the space planning, and allow for a number of layout options from cellular offices to open plan. The curved fa�ade facing St Paul�s Cathedral provided the biggest challenge. It provides the best view to St Paul�s but it is also subject to enormous heat gain in the summer. A passive vented fa�ade with a low iron glass outer skin and double glazed inner skin provides excellent thermal insulation against heat gain in the summer and acts as a heat sink in the winter when the vents can be closed and warm air trapped in the fa�ade. The views from St Paul�s Cathedral whispering gallery further prompted the requirement for an uncluttered roof design as it became known as the fifth fa�ade of the building. The cleaning cradle system is hidden from view and the green roof provides a habitat for insects for feeding birds and an urban roof meadow. Viewed from a distance down Newgate Street, the materials and detailing of the fa�ade create strong visual interest and varying degrees of transparency. At high level the building steps back from Cheapside to maintain the important glimpses of adjacent church spires. In view of the history associated with the site, the developers felt a great responsibility to deliver a building worthy of both its setting and importance. With its sleek, energy efficient, contemporary triple glass-fronted design by Michael Aukett, which allows excellent use of natural light, this has been achieved. 150 Cheapside enhances the streetscape and public realm, and offers a stunning sense of arrival with a double-height, concierge-style lobby.