Bloomberg European HQ
When financial media giants Bloomberg commissioned Foster + Partners to design their new European HQ with ground floor retail space and views of London, the design team had to overcome a number of constraints to create this truly world class building.
The architect’s vision consisted of two adjacent ten-storey buildings with a pedestrian access path cutting diagonally through. A steel frame with composite concrete floors is clad with sandstone and metal fins to produce a solid, understated elegance set to last within the hostile city environment.
The structure’s sensitive island location meant that physical limitations were set by the adjacent roads, as well as the remains of the London Wall running close by. A plethora of archaeological relics were discovered during excavation, including a Roman Temple of Mithras, all of which were incorporated into a museum within the ‘North’ building.
Building close to an existing sewer, the adjacent Waterloo & City line tunnel and the construction of a new direct link to Bank underground station all required third party agreement, considerably affecting programming. Foundation designs were complex and bridged over delicate areas where necessary.
In terms of superstructure, we paid attention to flexibility, introducing long spans and structuring floor plates to provide uninterrupted floor space. The sheer number of beams and the building’s shape led to an extremely intricate design of transfer beams and triangular column grids. In the interest of delivering a building of visual impact as well as longevity, steel tonnages were not seen as a limiting factor.
Set within the heart of the north building is a unique bronze-clad ramp, a continuous three-dimensional loop that is as much a piece of art as it is a key aspect of movement through the building. It has been designed and proportioned as a place of meeting and connection, whilst not impeding the flow of people. All arrivals to the building are taken by lift to the ‘Pantry’ – a double-height entrance space on the 6th floor – from which they then use the ramp to filter down to their floors.
Below the ramp is the Vortex, envisaged as the place where the building’s different users first converge before moving up to the Pantry. This space is defined by three large curved walls of timber, rotated 120 degrees and reciprocally connected at the top, creating a twisting effect in this large hall.
Two complex, yet elegant, ten-storey buildings of sandstone and steel for Bloomberg’s London HQ
Foster + Partners
- 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize
- 2018 Structural Timber Awards – Project of the Year
- 2018 Structural Steel Design Award
- 2018 BCO Awards – Best of the Best
- 2018 BCO Awards – Corporate Workplace
- 2018 NLA Awards – Offices
- 2018 BCO London Awards – Corporate Workplace
- 2018 BREEAM Awards – Design Award
- 2018 BREEAM Awards – Regional Award
- 2018 RIBA National Award
- 2018 RIBA Regional Award
- 2015 UK Tekla BIM Award