Bowling Green LaneEdit profile
Until recently this 1935 print warehouse was the home of the media group Emap. Its existing plan shows it to be two warehouses connected by a bridge along the south façade, with a three sided courtyard behind. The building has four principal storeys with a mansard roof providing a fifth. Our key architectural move was to enclose the existing courtyard and bridge across the north facade with a fully glazed link structure.. This link connects both halves of each floorplate and creates a large, bright meeting room or break out space, while the courtyard itself becomes a dramatic 18m high reception area naturally lit from above. Transformed into the buildings central hub, the covered court is accessed through a new reception space that occupies the old goods entrance. The space is Illuminated by what appear to be incandescent light bulbs hanging at different levels, which in fact are individual bulbs blown from a laboratory flask into the classic light bulb shape and fitted with a fibre optic lamp. It is a solution that allows the light source to brighten and diminish in intensity, with overall light levels controlled by light projectors on the 4th floor. All common areas of the building have a 25-50 year design life which is reflected in the quality and durability of the materials chosen. This is a sustainable approach to reduce lifetime waste for the building and yet allow the building services to be updated as new technologies arise. The link building allows each office floor to become a torus around a central core and the new covered court. This means flexible circulation space on each floor and dramatic views across London through the new parts of the building. Each floor has a balcony onto the covered court that allows the floor to be subdivided, or provides an elegant meeting space if an entire floor is let to one tenant. A fully glazed screen replaces the top floor mansard and opens onto a 60m long roof terrace. Views of St Pauls, 30 St Mary Axe and the Barbican make for a dramatic London skyline and a great external space – one whose potential ensured that the top floor was pre-let during the construction period.