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Rugged edge for City office scheme

news in pictures

Bennetts Associates has won planning permission and an endorsement from English Heritage for a £35 million, 25,000m2 office building to go up in the City of London.

2 1/2 Devonshire Square will take about 18 months to build and will replace the vacant Houndsditch Telephone Exchange, which will be demolished. The nine-storey building, for Southgate Developments, will be largely offices, with a pub at ground level and several existing basements. It will feature an exposed steel structure of 'weathering steel' - not used in the uk since Kevin Roche's factory for Cummins in Darlington or yrm's buildings for Wills in Bristol - which will be detailed to avoid uncontrolled rainwater run-off.

Large floorplates for dealer rooms are created by pushing cores to the perimeter - which the architect has used as the principal way of animating the exterior to create a 'dramatic townscape'. Bennetts said that planners had responded to the design's 'industrial ethos' and that English Heritage had been similarly welcoming. 'It said it was a sympathetic neighbour to a conservation area,' he said, referring to the adjacent Georgian buildings in Devonshire Square and the early Victorian industrial buildings in Cutlers Gardens.

Structural engineer: Whitby & Bird

QS: Davis Langdon & Everest

Services engineer: Cundall Johnston and Partners

Modelmaker: Kandor Modelmakers Photographer: Chris Edgecombe Computer Graphic: gmj

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