original publication material - courtesy of Foster + Partners
City Hall houses the chamber for the London Assembly and the offices of the mayor and staff of the Greater London Authority. It forms the focal point of the More London development – a new working community on the south bank of the Thames between London and Tower Bridges. Occupying a strategic position on the cultural route from Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre and Southwark Cathedral to HMS Belfast and the Design Museum, More London has played a key role in the social and economic regeneration of the borough of Southwark. One of the capital’s most symbolically important new projects, City Hall advances themes explored in the Reichstag, expressing the transparency and accessibility of the democratic process and demonstrating the potential for a sustainable, virtually non-polluting public building. Designed using advanced computer-modelling techniques the building represents a radical rethink of architectural form. Its shape achieves optimum energy performance by minimising the surface area exposed to direct sunlight and maximising shading. Offices are naturally ventilated, photovoltaics provide power and the building’s cooling systems utilise ground water pumped up via boreholes. Overall, City Hall uses only a quarter of the energy consumed by a typical air-conditioned London office building. Home to a workforce of some 18,000 people, More London integrates a broad mix of uses within a new network of streets and public spaces. A strong diagonal boulevard, which follows the ideal pedestrian route from London Bridge Station to Tower Bridge, is intersected by smaller routes and alleyways that forge links between the activity of the waterfront and the residential community of Bermondsey. The landscaping in the streets and piazzas includes tree planting and water features and extends to the design of paving and street furniture. Alongside the offices, there are shops, restaurants and cafés, and the development includes the Unicorn Children’s Theatre, a hotel, supermarket and fitness club. Together they help to create a lively and congenial social environment on the riverside.
Description by architects