The Post Building

  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar
  • © Timothy Soar

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Award

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

City of London

Information about this scheme

The Post Building is an office led mixed use building in central London that reconfigures and extends the existing structural frame of the WC1 Royal Mail Sorting and Delivery Office. Through careful adaptation of the existing structure, a central London city block, that had lain derelict for over 20 years, has been brought back to life, providing space for 3000 new jobs over 11 floors of Grade A office space and 21 new affordable homes, above a new active retail ground floor. The development also makes a significant contribution to the public realm with pavement and junction improvements to all elevations, the reactivation of the 18th century Dunn’s Passage, and a publicly accessible roof terrace. The lower half of the existing, generously-scaled structural frame has been retained and reimagined as large volume office floor plates. A new circulation core and mezzanine levels have been inserted into the centre of the existing deep plan. The building’s top half has been replaced and remodelled to create a focal corner at the intersection of five key London roads. The new floorplates in the upper half of the building echo those within the original structure below, while the top floor provides a double height penthouse office reflecting the volume of the former mail sorting spaces at lower levels. Internally, deep steel and concrete beams – the result of the large structural spans from the building’s former use – are left exposed, lending an industrial character to the new office floors. The new structure is delicately spliced into the existing frame demonstrating the flexibility of London’s building stock by adaptation to new uses.

Openings within the new facade express the scale of the double height spaces inside, framing views of the complex play between structure and services on the retained soffits. The expressive junction and connection between the self-finished steel components of the cladding system give a richness of detail echoing the mail sorting infrastructure that used to occupy the building and can still be found in the dormant Mail Rail station below. The residential facade applies a more domestic scale and finish to the language of frame and infill established by the office facades. Roach Bed Portland stone is used to infill the bays and establish a dialogue between the metal clad architecture of the office and the materials of the neighbouring conservation areas. Meticulous site logistics and engineering precision were required to deliver the meeting of old and new throughout the building’s interior. Detailed consultation with the council helped to deliver 100% of the required affordable housing on site, while transparent engagement with the Design Officers shaped the design as it developed and resulted in the rich and varied architectural and townscape proposition.

Credits

Client

Brockton Capital and Oxford Properties

Architect

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Project Manager

Gardner & Theobald

Quantity Surveyor

Arcadis

M&E Engineers

ARUP

Structural Engineer

ARUP

Contractor

Laing O'Rourke

Primary Use Class

Class B1 - Business