88 Wood Street London, London Wall Office Development, Speculative Commercial Building, Property

88 Wood Street : London Wall Office

City Office building, England – speculative commercial development design by Richard Rogers Partnership, Architects

Location: London Wall, City of London

Dates built: 1993-2001

Architect: Richard Rogers Partnership (now RSHP)

88 Wood Street London Wall offices
photo © Adrian Welch

23 Jun 2007

88 Wood Street London

The first City building completed by RRP since Lloyd’s of London in 1986, 88 Wood Street demonstrates the potential for speculative commercial development that does not compromise on quality and enhances the public domain.

The site, at the junction of Wood Street and London Wall, was formerly occupied by a 1920s telephone exchange. Delays in securing the demolition of this supposedly “historic” building, combined with the onset of the Nineties recession, led to the cancellation of a 1990 Rogers scheme for a prestige new headquarters for banking corporation Daiwa. A larger scheme was designed in 1993-94, with speculative letting in mind.

88 Wood Street London 88 Wood Street London 88 Wood Street
photos © Adrian Welch

The 33,000 m² building is arranged as three linked blocks of office accommodation that step up from eight storeys on Wood Street, where the context includes two listed buildings, to fourteen and finally eighteen storeys to the west, responding to the taller built topography towards London Wall. By using the extensive basement of the demolished telephone exchange for plant, roof levels were kept largely free.

The office wings are constructed of in situ concrete which contrasts with the lightweight, steel-framed service towers containing toilets, lifts and dramatic, fully glazed stairs. The use of brilliant colour enhances their impact – air intakes and extracts at street level are also brightly coloured, contrasting with the neutrality of the occupied floors.

The generosity of the scheme is reflected in the spacious, 8 metre-high entrance lobby, floored in granite as an extension of the external landscaping. This reception area features a 54 metre-long wall running the length of the building. The façades of the main office floors are glazed from floor to ceiling to maximise daylight and views – in addition, levels 8,12 and 16 lead directly onto roof terraces with spectacular views over the City skyline.

Though built to a strict commercial budget, 88 Wood Street contains many innovative elements. The massing of the building allows controlled daylight to penetrate the office floors. Its triple-glazed active façade is formed of single panels, each 3m x 4m, of highly transparent float glass.

The inner faces of the external panes have a low emissivity coating which further reduces internal solar gain, while the cavity between the double glazed units and the third panel is fitted with motorised, integral horizontal blinds with perforated slats. Photocells on the roof monitor external light conditions and adjust the angle of the blinds, thus minimising sun-glare, heat gain and energy consumption.

Copyright © 2014 Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners LLP. All rights reserved.

Adjacent Buildings

Wood Street, 100, City of London
Date built: 2000
Design: Foster & Partners

122 Leadenhall Street, City of London
Dates built: 2006-10
Design: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Lloyds Building London, One Lime Street, City of London
Dates built: 1979-84
Design: Richard Rogers Partnership
Lloyds Building
photo © Adrian Welch

88 Wood Street architect – Richard Rogers

Location: 88 Wood Street, City og London, England, UK

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Wood Street photographs taken with Panasonic DMC-FX01 lumix camera; Leica lense: 2816×2112 pixels – original photos available upon request: info(at)e-architect.com

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Website: https://rshp.com/projects/office/88-wood-street/