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Putting The Colour Back In Glass Offices

CF Moeller has designed this new office building for developer Land Securities in the heart of the City of London.

With 13 storeys including ground and a plant floor on the top, the scheme will be 53 metres tall and contain 40,422 square meters of office with ground floor retail.

Located to the south of Fleet Street and the immediate west of Salisbury Square, it replaces the present Fleetbank House, a sixties office block, 43 metres tall that currently dominates the site. Other buildings will also go including the Coach and Horses, a 19th century public house, and Chronicle House which fronts straight on to Fleet Street and will have its fašade retained.

At the heart of the design brief is a main modern office building with two glass wings, an east and a west, arranged in a roughly triangular shape that is split by a central atrium.

A third shorter northern block behind the front of Chronicle House will also be built with proportions more befitting Fleet Street.

The upper floors of the east and west wings will have a set back that is designed so that the views of the nearby St Bride's church spire from Waterloo Bridge remain unobstructed.

The entirety of the main building will be clad in a sophisticated glass envelope with approximately a third of the glass panels having solid backing to reduce solar gain. This will have such an effect that a second skin of glass will not be required.

This approach however raised problems as the architects wished to avoid the usual irregularly patterned glass facades we are used to seeing turned to Danish artist, Ruth Campau.

She has created bespoke glass with patterns of white stripes that can be positioned next to the solid panels creating the impression of them blurring into the transparent windows whilst different colours and transparencies can be used depending on which part of the building it is.

One of the central requirements for a new development on the site is to have improved pedestrian access through it. A new passage will be created to Salisbury Square with retail outlets no one side and art installations by Campau on the other giving pedestrians a colourful walk through the site.

Fleetbank House has yet to be approved by the Corporation of London but with it being a highly slick modern office development of the type that usually gets the thumbs up, they are unlikely to find many problems in it.

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Fleetbank House

Fleetbank House
Fleetbank House

Fleetbank House
St Brides Church

St Brides Church
Fleetbank House entrance
Fleetbank House entrance
Fleetbank House cladding
Fleetbank House cladding
Fleetbank House passage way
Fleetbank House passage way