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Sheppard Robson unveils City scheme with ‘largest living wall in Europe’

  • 4 Comments

Sheppard Robson has revealed plans for a mixed-use building in the City of London with the ‘largest living wall in Europe’ wrapped around its façade

Under the plans Citicape House, an office building on Holborn Viaduct will be demolished to make way for a new ’gateway’ building to the newly-established Culture Mile. 

The 0.2ha site on the corner of Snow Hill will be developed to provide 3,741m² of office space, a 382-bed hotel with restaurant and bar and a publicly accessible rooftop terrace.

The scheme also boasts a 3,700m² living or green wall made up of approximately 400,000 plants, which will cover the entire façade of the building, and a public viewing gallery. 

The scheme is backed by developer Dominvs Group, which reportedly bought the site in 2017 with existing permission for a hotel designed by Axis Architects. 

Planning documents lodged with the City of London last week state the existing office block is ’dated and inefficient’ and has been empty for a number of years.

SUBMITTED: Sheppard Robson's designs for Cityscape House on Holborn Viaduct (October 2019)

SUBMITTED: Sheppard Robson’s designs for Cityscape House on Holborn Viaduct (October 2019)

SUBMITTED: Sheppard Robson’s designs for Cityscape House on Holborn Viaduct (October 2019)

’The proposed development represents a unique opportunity to enhance and revitalise a prominent site within the City and to deliver a genuinely iconic building at the entrance to the Culture Mile,’ it reads.

The new living cladding system would provide 7 tonnes of fresh air and extract 9 tonnes of CO2 each year and would be the largest in Europe, according to the developer.

The National Grid Headquarters, just outside of Warwick, is the current record-holder, boasting a 1,000m² vertical garden wrapped around its power distribution centre.

Dominvs Group director Jay Ahluwalia said: ’Dominvs Group is incredibly proud of our proposals for 61-65 Holborn Viaduct, which aims to play a major role in the regeneration of the Smithfield area.

’With the City of London’s vision for the area and the creation of the Culture Mile, we feel this project will support and enhance the overall ambition for this exciting, new cultural destination as the creative heart of the Square Mile.’ 

Sheppard Robson has been approached for comment. 

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • The current largest living wall in Europe is indeed pat f the National Grid campus in Warwick, at 1024 sqm, although its around a multi-storey car park by one world design architects with Cundall. http://www.one-worlddesign.co.uk/Project/national-grid-car-park/

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  • So no image of the existing 'dated and inefficient' office building, and no idea as to whether refurbishment might be feasible - and a great deal more sustainable than what might in reality be akin to a green 'wolf in sheep's clothing'.
    Hasn't the AJ (inter alia) been questioning the wisdom of destroying rather than re-purposing and reusing buildings, recently?
    And is 'iconic' a new tool to be used in justifying new architecture?

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  • The previous proposal was designed by Bryan Avery (Avery Associates) with Axis Architects.

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  • I am very interested to know how these living walls sit within current fire regulations. Visually they look great.

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