Detailing 60 London Wall
The complete overhaul and extension of this 1980’s office building in the heart of the City of London presents some unique opportunities… and unique challenges.
It’s uncommon to have such extensive outdoor space associated with an urban commercial development in London’s financial district. At 60 London Wall, because the existing building was being extended upwards it risked imposing on historically important views of St. Pauls Cathedral. The solution devised by EPR Architects was to rake back each of the upper floors, creating a ziggurat of generous terraces. Our aim was to provide every occupant with a view of nature. Our challenge was to design a landscape which maximised greenery and yet still allowed maximum flexibility for social events, outdoor meeting, and the chance to enjoy the outstanding views over the city.
We have designed a series of bespoke planters which incorporate seating, lighting and power for events. These are deep enough to support significant new tree planting, and the articulated shapes create plenty of niches and spaces with privacy for group meeting or solo relaxation, always with the feeling of being amongst the trees and planting. The seats appear to grow organically from the planter edging, and have each been individually modelled in 3d software, before being sent to be cut from solid pieces of hardwood. Paving the terraces has been an exercise in patience and precision. Because of the many complex radii and non-parallel arrangements of façade and parapet, thousands of porcelain tiles have been individually water-jet cut to a precise pattern.
Attention to detail pays dividends, and as the project nears completion it is becoming clear that this will certainly be a healthy and fulfilling place to work and enjoy, and a unique slice of nature in the city.