12 New Fetter Lane completes
A new 15-storey office building makes a virtue out of a challenging triangular plot in London’s Midtown
This striking scheme, designed by the collaborative architectural team of Doone Silver Architects and Flanagan Lawrence, occupies a triangular site bounded by Fetter Lane and New Fetter Lane. Its innovative, rotating stepped form responds to the low-rise Chancery Lane Conservation Area to the west and the higher-rise commercial developments of New Street Square to the east.
The building’s slender vertical ‘hinge’ defines the meeting point of these two streets. The scale change between West and East elevations is resolved by a cascade of double storey stepped terraces rotating around the southern vertical hinge - the hinge expressed by a translucent glazed staircase, filtering natural light during the day and glowing as a vertical white beacon at night.
This feature creates a powerful focal point when approaching the building from Fleet Street, and the building is now a distinct landmark when viewed from the South.
The external envelope of the building is composed almost entirely of glass. The core is clad in pale grey opaque glass vertical panels, whilst the principal clear glazing to the offices is expressed as a multi-faceted and reticulated surface. These diamond-cut facades generate multiple complex reflections, capturing light and constantly changing in both pattern and appearance throughout the day - a highly modelled façade that references the historic diamond dealing district of Hatton Garden immediately to the north.
The prime quality office space within the building benefits from high levels of natural light, excellent external awareness and impressive views across London. The Northern vertical service core mirrors the Southern staircase, containing lifts, WCs, on-floor air handling plant and service risers. This core, containing the chillers and the telescopic building maintenance unit, then continues at roof level and is expressed as a single spine around which the whole building is organised.
The ground floor of the building is set back, defining the different spaces and uses at street level. The first of these is the main entrance lobby that runs most of the length of the New Fetter Lane elevation - a
single clear volume viewed through a full height and full width glass wall, consisting of gigantic glazed panels supported by almost invisible glass fins. Retail units add activity to the new urban park on Plough Place.
The single basement level contains additional central plant space together with cycle parking, changing rooms with showers and building management accommodation. Environmental sustainability has also been a key factor throughout the development of the design. The building achieves a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, offering a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions compared to current building regulations.
12 New Fetter Lane will be occupied by international law firm Bird & Bird, with fit-out completing in Summer 2016.
Client: Pontsarn Investments – c/o Great Portland Estates
Owner: TH Real Estate
Tenant: Bird & Bird
Location: City of London
Type Of Project: Offices & Retail
Area: 147,000 sq. ft
Form of Contract: JCT 2011 Design & Build
Total Cost: Approx. £47 million (Cat.A)
BREEAM Rating: Excellent 2011
Architects: Doone Silver Architects/ Flanagan Lawrence
Landscape Architect: Townshend Landscape Architects
Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald
Main Contractor: Mace
Planning Consultant: DP9
Structural Engineer: WSP Group
M&E Consultant: Hilson Moran Partnership
Quantity Surveyor: Arcadis
Fire & Traffic Engineer: WSP Group
Commissioning Consultant: Dome Group
Planning Supervisor: Gardiner & Theobald
Lighting Consultant: EQ2
Rights to Light Consultant: Delva Patman Associates
Approved Inspector: MLM Building Control
Access Consultant: Access Design Consultants
Notes to Editors
Doone Silver Architects is a London-based architectural practice. Established in 2010, the studio is led by Directors Richard Doone, John Silver and Ross Kerr, and has extensive experience in commercial, residential and hospitality sectors worldwide.
Flanagan Lawrence is an award-winning, design-led practice of architects, masterplanners and interior designers based in London. The practice has an impressive collective expertise across a broad range of public and private sectors and building typologies including large-scale commercial projects and high-end residential schemes, as well as cultural, hotel and leisure, and major masterplanning projects both in the UK and internationally. www.flanaganlawrence.com
Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. We combine exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients achieve their commercial goals. We have over 1100 lawyers in 27 offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as close ties with firms in other parts of the world.
Great Portland Estates is a FTSE 250 property investment and development company owning £3.6 billion of office, retail and residential space in central London. Our portfolio consists of 68 properties totalling 3.6 million sq ft, with a development pipeline totalling c2.5 million sq. ft. of potential new space. We aim to deliver superior returns to our shareholders by unlocking the often hidden potential in retail and office property in central London.
TH Real Estate is an established investment management company, specialising in real estate equity and debt investment worldwide. As one of the largest real estate managers in the world, TH Real Estate has the scale, capital resources and knowledge to provide creative and effective real estate investment solutions for clients. With a focus on the retail, office, logistics, debt and multifamily residential sectors, TH Real Estate emphasises sustainable practices to protect assets and maximise their value.
The company is owned by TIAA-CREF, a US financial services and Fortune 100 company, with $834bn assets under management. Launched in April 2014, TH Real Estate has a dedicated global presence with offices across America, Asia and Europe, representing c.$29.7bn of real estate assets across c.50 funds and mandates. Together with TIAA-CREF’s US real estate assets, the global real estate platform of $89.0bn represents one of the largest real estate investment management enterprises in the world.
Its products are managed by specialist teams, which apply their own experience to the management and style of their portfolios. Each team is supported by an experienced senior management team and integrated investment platform, including finance, debt and currency management, performance analytics, client service, fund and transaction structuring, development, sustainability and research.
For more information please contact Joe Pundek
+44(0)20 7706 6254