London-based architecture firm dRMM has received planning permission for its first major office building in the City of London. The 10-storey building at 51-54 Fenchurch Street will combine an abstraction of Portland stone with an all-glass façade that will help the building blend with its historic setting.
“We’re well-known for our readiness to innovate with new materials, and the façade treatment will be a world first,” says dRMM director Sadie Morgan. “As well as looking interesting, the façade effect is environmentally sound, maximising the thermal performance of the envelope by combining solid and transparent elements.”
Commissioned by Aviva Life & Pensions UK, the building’s internal footprint will be 6,334sq m, a 2,000sq m increase on the existing building. The office space has been designed to be flexible and circulation will be placed on the western side to afford all floors with triple aspect views.
At street level, the building will also include retail space, while the historic Star Alley, which circumvents the building, will be repositioned, improving the flow of pedestrians into the retail area. The practice said this will also improve the route between Fenchurch Street and Mark Lane, by visually connecting the street to the Grade I Listed Tower of All Hallows Staining.
“We’ve been particularly interested in the human scale that characterises the City’s medieval streetscape, and have sought to reinforce a feeling of intimacy at street level that reflects its historic precedent, while using the modern to offer a distinctive and dramatic silhouette above,” said Morgan.
The new building has also been designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.