Ropemaker Place
Ropemaker Place is a new commercial office development in the city of London. Incorporating 55,000m² net of office and 1270m² of retail facilities, the building is designed to allow for large continuous floors with spacious open aspects, with two designated trading floor, a legible circulation and views over the City, providing a working environment of the highest quality and a desirable place to work. Conceived as a simplified Chinese puzzle where the sum-of-the parts define the whole, the building is composed of six large-scale interlocking cubic forms, rising up as a series of garden terraces. Arup Associates’ design aims to enhance the relationship of the building to Moorgate and the larger City buildings beyond, while still respecting the domestic scale of Islington. The roof terraces, designed to be visible, particularly from the long distance northern views, are a remarkable natural amenity for the people who occupy the building and a bio-diverse habitat. Their inclusion directly drew the tenant to this building, over a plethora of available alternative developments. British Land purchased the site in April 2006 with Planning Permission for a previous developer’s design. The project needed to overcome difficulties of existing 1950’s and overlayed1980’s concrete foundations, in addition to undertaking major new basement excavation before the new design was fully known or the new Planning Consent could be gained. The Client, unusually, put the responsibility for design and construction in the hands of only two organizations: Arup Associates as Architect, Structural, and Building Services designer, and Mace as Project Manager, Construction Manager, and Cost Consultant This close collaboration of integrated teams has been an undoubted success. The 21 storey building has not only been completed at fast-track pace, but has achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’, as well as LEED Platinum Pre-Certification for Shell & Core, the first outside the USA. It is set to achieve 33% lower carbon emissions than are set out in the current Building Regulations and satisfies the entire heating and hot water demand through the use of passive design and renewable energy systems as well as an array of other technical features. The façade design is an exemplar of the integration of architectural treatment with environmental performance: the design team created a bespoke tilting façade system, which reduces the energy required for cooling by up to 27% compared to a flat façade. The exciting and different external appearance is a result of the subtly changing colour rhythms of the optical glass façade, which present a dynamic canvas of reflectivity and tone, while the projecting arrays of serrated projecting windows provide integrated solar shading, as the windows ‘turn their backs’ to the sun significantly reducing peak solar gain. Paul Burgess, Head of London Leasing at British Land, said on completion: “We are pleased to have reached this important milestone on time and on budget. With Ropemaker we will be delivering our most sustainable development yet in the City. Its ability to help occupiers reduce both operational costs and their environmental impact is combined with a great range of floor-plates and a high level of specification to meet operational needs. The roof terrace gardens are of a scale and quality unparalleled in the City and are a wonderful feature for occupiers`. The unusual use of glass and colour, and an extensive collaboration with light sculptors and artists, are features of both the interior and exterior of Ropemaker. This is a high quality office and retail environment, driven by an enlightened client with a well-established ethos of highly sustainable, flexible, contemporary workplaces.


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