Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
City of London
Information about this scheme
Occupying a full city block, the 3.2-acre site comprises two buildings united by bridges that span over a pedestrian arcade that reinstates Watling Street, an ancient Roman road that ran through the site.
Bloomberg Arcade is now a key route for people, with restaurants and cafes at ground level, set back behind an undulating façade under a covered colonnade. Three public plazas, located at each end of the arcade and in front of the building’s entrance, provide new civic spaces. Its striking façade is defined by a structural sandstone frame, with a series of large-scale bronze fins that shade the floor-to-ceiling glazing. The fins give the building a visual hierarchy and rhythm as they vary in scale, pitch and density across each façade according to orientation and solar exposure, while being an integral part of the building’s natural ventilation system.
Art plays a central role in the project, with major site-specific commissions. Cristina Iglesias’ water sculpture in three parts, ‘Forgotten Streams’ – a homage to the ancient Walbrook River that once flowed through the site – defines the public spaces at each end of Bloomberg Arcade.
The new Bloomberg building also returns the archaeological remains of the Roman Temple of Mithras to their original site, with a new interpretation
centre and cultural hub that gives visitors an immersive experience of the temple. Arriving at the main entrance, everyone is drawn into the Vortex – a dramatic double-height space created by three inclined, curving timber shells. From here, high-speed fully-glazed lifts with a unique concealed mechanism carry everyone directly to the sixth floor.
Central to Bloomberg’s ethos, the double- height ‘pantry’ on the sixth floor is the heart of the building, reflecting the importance of sharing and collaboration at the company. A distinctive hypotrochoid stepped ramp, characterised by its smooth continuous three-dimensional loop, flows through the full height of the building, adding to the drama of the space. Clad in bronze, the ramp is designed and proportioned as a place of meeting and connection, while not impeding the flow of people.
The notion of teamwork and collaboration flows into the desking systems and layout of each floor. Bespoke height-adjustable, radial desks are laid out in clusters, allowing for privacy, personalisation, wellbeing and collaborative working. The ceiling’s distinctive polished aluminium panels of ‘petals’ perform multiple roles – as light reflectors, cooling elements and acoustic attenuation – combining various elements of a typical office ceiling into an energy- saving integrated system.
Foster + Partners
Charles Funke Associates
Sir Robert McAlpine
Primary Use Class
Class A2 - Financial and Professional Services