Work is soon to begin on what will be the first major building by starchitect Rem Koolhaas in London.
Designed for the august merchant bank, Rothschild, the bespoke 14 storey 69.7 metre tall building will replace their current headquarters at New Court in the City of London, a site they have occupied ever since their arrival in the country when Britain and France faced off against each other in the Napoleonic Wars.
Once completed the scheme will have 20,992 square metres of space within, topped by a distinctive "sky pavilion" that will incorporate a semi-transparent image of the nearby St Stephen Walbrook Church on it mimicking a reflection.
This is intended to be a modernistic reinterpretation of a turret or culpea that breaks the ceiling of the City of London skyline. The top floor of this will be one large room with transparent glazing that will make the interior viewable from the street.
The bulk of the tower will be clad in glazed curtain walls that will have a metal mesh integrated into the glass that combined with the aluminium will give the building a solid metallic feel.
The scheme is being built by Bovis Lendlease who plan a two and a half year schedule from the initial demolition beginning this month, the beginning of piling in July 2008, steelwork in July 2009, cladding in November 2009 and core completion in August 2010.
This will be shortly after the bank celebrates its two hundredth anniversary of setting up shop in London having occupied a mere three headquarters in this period. Operating with that sort of longevity Koolhaas's design should outlive us all.
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