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Carmody Groarke gets go-ahead for Finsbury Circus office revamp

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Carmody Groarke has won approval to refurbish and extend upwards a Grade II-listed Edwardian office block in the City of London

The practice hailed the scheme, its first major project in the Square Mile, a ’major milestone’ for the 14-year-old firm.

The seven-storey 1-5 London Wall Buildings form the south-east quadrant of Finsbury Circus, lying between Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations.

In 2018 the owner of the five linked buildings, the Corporation of London, sold a 150-year leasehold on the block to asset manager Angelo Gordon and developer Endurance Land for £97 million.

Now the duo has secured planning approval to add two storeys of office space to the buildings’ roof. The mansard will also feature a long terrace with pergolas next to a plant room concealed by a green wall.

Carmody Groarke has also designed a new public walkway through the block, between Finsbury Circus and Blomfield Street, which will be open from 7am to 7pm on weekdays to help accommodate the extra footfall expected around the building. 

Under the plans, shops and co-working space will also be added around the ground-floor perimeter, while a façade facing London Wall will be added on the sixth and seven storeys.

Office space on the existing floors will be changed to better cater for larger companies. The building currently has ‘chambers’, which were designed for much smaller firms to suit early 20th century requirements.

019 cg london wall crop

019 cg london wall crop

The revamp will also halve the building’s carbon emissions. 

Endurance Land chief executive Jonathan Fletcher said the design ‘aims to respect the 1904 design by Gordon & Ganton but at the same time reinvigorate and reposition the asset to reflect its history, while providing a first-class building for the 21st century’.

Carmody Groarke director Kevin Carmody said: ’The proposal consolidates the five historic buildings that make up the site into a single building, bringing the primary entrance centrally to Finsbury Circus, reinforcing the importance of the building as one quadrant of the largest public space in the City.’

Our scheme resists the trend of retained façade development

He added: ‘Our scheme resists the trend we have seen in recent years of “retained façade development”, instead retaining much of the historic and listed fabric and the accompanying character and preserving this for future generations.

’This retention of existing fabric and its embodied carbon results in an overall reduction in the environmental impacts in construction and in use. As our first major project in the City of London it is a major milestone for our practice and it has been the product of an engaged and fruitful dialogue with the City of London Planners, Historic England and The Victorian Society.’

Work is expected to start on site in 2022 and complete in 2024.

Last year Carmody Groarke’s Windermere Jetty Museum was named design of the year at the 2019 AJ Architecture Awards

Carmody groarke london wall model

Carmody groarke london wall model

Project team 

Architect Carmody Groarke
Heritage consultant Turley
Planning consultant Gerald Eve
Structure engineer Waterman Group 
Building services Engineer Waterman Group 
Landscape designer Outerspace 
Approved inspector MLM 
Principal designer MLM 
Fire engineer MLM 
Lighting designer Nulty 
Access consultant Malcolm Hollis 
Energy consultant Waterman Group 
Ecology consultant Waterman Group 
BREEAM assessor Waterman Group 
Quantity surveyor Quantem 
Project manager Quartz

Carmody groarke london wall

Carmody groarke london wall

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Readers' comments (1)

  • London is littered with buildings from the C219 onwards disfigured by ever-higher roof extensions; this one is no different, really, as the rather scary model shows.

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