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AHMM reveals ‘adventure in colour’ to replace 1-2 Broadgate

  • 5 Comments

AHMM has submitted plans for a multi-coloured 74,000m² mixed-use shopping and office block which will replace 1-2 Broadgate in the iconic 1980s office complex

Last month the government announced it was set to turn down a statutory protection for the Arup Associates-designed building, hailed as the last unaltered part of the City of London campus.

The culture minister’s decision to grant landowner British Land’s application for a Certificate of Immunity (COI) for the existing building paved the way for its demolition as part of the developer’s wider £1.5 billion site regeneration plans.

Almost a third of the new 14-storey block, the four lower floors, will be dedicated to retail and leisure, creating a major new shopping centre linked to Liverpool Street station.   

The scheme has been designed as a series of variously coloured stacked boxes and features huge terraces on every floor above level five, providing more than 4,000m² of external space on the building.

AHMM director Paul Monaghan described the mammoth block as ‘an adventure in colour’ and potentially the most colourful scheme since its 2007 Westminster Academy, which was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize a year later.

According to a design statement, the colours of the elevations ’are taken from the earthy and autumnal colours of the buildings in the surrounding area’.

It reads: ’The metal fins will be coloured to express the mass as a series of stacked volumes. The colours at the base of the building will be darker, graduating to lighter colours at the top of the building.’

British Land and joint venture partner Government of Singapore Investment Corporation applied for the latest COI after its previous certificate, obtained in 2013, ran out earlier this year.

Although Historic England had attempted to get the entire estate Grade II*-listed in 2011, it did not put up a fight for 1-2 Broadgate this time, saying the building’s quality had been diminished by a series of demolitions and alterations of important parts of the original scheme.

Subject to approval, work on AHMM’s 1-2 Broadgate plans could be completed by 2024.

118565 large

118565 large

Architect’s view

In plan, the building form maintains the principles and geometry of the original masterplan by framing the public space around Broadgate Circle, formally addressing the southern edge of Finsbury Avenue Square and clearly defining the north-south pedestrian axis along Finsbury Avenue.

The building is conceived as a series of stacked volumes. These volumes cascade informally down from the west, where the constraints allow the building to reach its maximum height, to the east, where the height is limited by overshadowing and other constraints.

The diminished massing at upper levels and the articulation as a series of shifting volumes both help to break down the perceived scale of the building, particularly when viewed from street level.

Stacked colours

Stacked colours

Lower-level volumes pull apart to create entrances and retail arcades through the building, whilst defining pedestrian edges of the building. These also establish a form of retail podium on which the office uses are stacked.

Volumes pull back at upper levels to create terraces at every level from level 05 upwards. Balconies supplement the terraces at lower levels generating a total of 4,000m² of amenity space for users of the building as well as creating the opportunity for visible greening of the building at the perimeter and on the terraces and balconies.

The building envelope is developed around a kit of parts that are applied in response to building uses, floor level, orientation and envelope performance requirements. This approach allows the building to adapt and respond flexibly to future needs.

1 2 broadgate

1 2 broadgate

Project data

Client British Land/GIC JV
Architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Project manager Gardiner & Theobald
Structural engineer AKT II
Cost Consultant Core 5
MEP/Lift engineer Hilson Moran
Planning consultant DP9
Fire engineer JGA
Landscape architect BBUK
Transport consultant Arup
Daylighting consultant Point 2 Surveyors
Acoustic consultant Sandy Brown
Environmental consultant Trium
Access consultant David Bonnett Associates
Acoustic consultant Sandy Brown
Townscape consultant Tavernor Consultancy
Security consultant QCIC
Community consultant BECG
Broadgate framework contractor Sir Robert McAlpine

Aerial of broadgate

Aerial of broadgate

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • Macdonalds

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  • Looks like a considerable improvement on the sober-sides, clip-on granite fakery of the original and makes much more of the underused street frontage.

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  • Phil Parker

    When architecture lapses into cynical void filling...

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  • It seems a criminal waste of resources to be replacing a building that's less than forty years old. What price 'sustainability'?

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  • For Peter Phillips: 'sustainability' is only for those silly people who believe in nonsense like global warming and council houses.
    We're about to break free of all the ghastly red tape of the European nanny- state, and soon government with a 'light touch' (that served some of us so well in our financial services vocation) will be within our grasp, so no more prissy talk of a criminal waste of resources, please.

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