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A Look At Two London Wall Place

Starting in about 1955, London Wall was one of the first areas of post-war development in the City of London with an entire cluster of towers built along what was a new highway cutting through a previously bombed-out landscape. Gradually those towers have been cleared one at a time or renovated into more modern buildings but the concept of towers along this stretch has been retained.

The latest of these will be the approved Two London Wall Place, the western and second phase of the London Wall Place development that now has its eastern section under construction for occupation in 2017 by Schroders.

With a height of 76.87 metres above ground, the Make Architects penned design was approached from the inside out - that is that the internal requirements of the building were drawn up first with the design to then fit around them. This sees a 12 metre wide footprint of offices, with further 6 metre wide buffer strips either side, and an internal planning module of 1.5 metres.

The architects then decided to plump for a project set along an east west alignment, not least because the site can easily be divided into more than one building with this approach. It also helps reinstate the original grid of London Wall that was built over following the bombing of World War 2.

Originally the western building was set to be an even taller tower of 28 floors and a height of about 113 metres but following the initial response to this design in March 2010 it was scaled down to the eventual height it has now as to not appear from Gabriel's Wharf on the South Bank despite the fact it breached no height limits.

At first the height was cut so that it would relate to the nearby Farrell-designed St Alban Gate, and now is roughly the same scale as Eric Parry's 5 Aldermanbury Square. This is now intended to create the western end to the London Wall cluster, a reduction in the ambition that previously saw it as a pinnacle.

The plot that the building sits on is tight and thus the southern part cantilevers over existing pavements and parking structures. It was originally designed to also cantilever over the pavement that runs along St Alphage Street Garden but this was reduced. The concept of a collection of layered blocks when viewed from Alban Gate does however remain.

The facade uses the same materials as One London Wall Place, but these are employed in a different manner to address the way the tower is different. Externally the central circulation spine is glazed to help animate the building with a clear view of the interior, the southern office areas have stone cladding with strong vertical lines that compliment 5 Aldermanbury. On the northern side again stone is used relating to the Barbican which sits on the other side of the road.

Topping the inside of the building will be a triple height area that could be used as a corporate entertaining room, an observation level, or even a new restaurant with similar access to that of Vertigo at the top of Tower 42.

At ground level the site takes in both the remains of the old Londinium Roman wall and the remains of St Alphage Tower, an area that will be freshly landscaped to create a rejuvenated city park inspired by traditional English woodland. Along with a new connection to Salters' Garden, this area will finally get a much needed contiguous urban park and 17 new trees.

With the initial expectation that Two London Wall Place would be built speculatively, it has been designed to work as well for a single tenant, as for multiple tenants. In turn the floor space has been planned in such a way that it can be subdivided so that tenants could, for instance, occupy 500 and 700 square metres respectively on a single floor without any lose of space. Whether construction actually goes ahead speculative or not, does however remain to be seen.

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2 London Wall Place

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2 London Wall Place, London
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2 London Wall Place, London
2 London Wall Place, London
2 London Wall Place, London
2 London Wall Place, London