51 Lime Street, a new tower to the east of Richard Rogers’ 1986 Lloyds Building expands on the practice’s paradigm of the ‘urban room’, where genuine connections to the public realm are established, and the way in which the building ‘touches’ the ground is paramount. The buildings reinstate a historic route through the site and with a fringe of retail at their base, together with sculpture reclaimed from the previous building, linear benches and vertical landscaping, they reinforce the medieval street pattern.
Connections are made to the cafes, restaurants and bar at the base of the new buildings, extending the vibrancy of the nearby Leadenhall Market, a particularly lively retail centre in the City with a strong architectural character. The building respects the urban character of the city of London and its mass is divided into two elements: a 10-storey building to the east that responds to the smaller scale of Billiter Street and Fenchurch Avenue and a 29-storey tower that rises up at the west of the site. The elevation facing the Lloyd’s Building is concave to respect its neighbour and creates a new public area between the buildings, with seating and mature trees. The tower’s plan has been developed as a series of overlapping curved forms whilst its section is arranged in three steps. Spectacular roof terraces on the lower two terraces are directly accessible from the office spaces. The 10-storey building is triangular in form with curved corners responding to the long view aspect and it also has an external terrace as break out space for employees. Both buildings have a central core to provide maximum flexibility for their tenants, whether as single or multiple occupiers.
The entire development is unified visually by its consistent external cladding. Texture is provided by a series of raised dots while the high mica content of the powder coated finish of the panels provides highlight and relief. A strong language is established through the interplay of solid and glazed panels arranged in a saw-tooth pattern. These fins reduce glare and solar gain and are just one of the strategies that have contributed to the building’s BREEAM excellent rating.
Description by architects