Arup Associates have designed a new scheme to replace the Gensler penned Ropemaker Place on the edge of the City of London.
Bought by British Land to add to their development pipe-line, it was well known that the developer was unhappy with the project as it stood and wanted to secure a larger amount of floor-space on the 0.55 hectacre plot.
Rising to a height of 109.8 metres AOD and 95.6 AGL, the building will accommodate 82,600 square metres of gross floor-space including retail units on the ground floor and twenty levels of office accommodation above.
The main change comes from expanding the lower-rise sections of the previous scheme to get more out of the site than before creating a building similarly bulky to Plantation Place that squeezes every last sqm it can into it.
The tallest section is located on Ropemaker Street looking down over a series of step backs, and no less than four roof gardens creating eco terraces that reduce in height to a mere eight floors on the side fronting Chiswell Street. An atrium runs through the building along this section between Ropemaker and Chiswell Streets and gives the larger lower office floors daylight penetration.
The cladding will be centred around tilted projecting windows that consist of a series of layers of glass that will change shade and create a coloured canvas and add depth from shadowing as the position of the sun changes.
They have been chosen to around a basic palette of indigo that depending on the weather alters appearance. A grey sky will de-saturate it and make it colourless, a blue sky will reflect back the colour of the sky whilst sunlight will create reddish brown colours.
British Land have already started to prep the site and have workmen there digging holes so that the scheme can go-ahead. Although bulky it's non offensive and the lack of height will reduce any potential controversy. Indeed it was planned specifically to be invisible from views such as those along the South Bank looking north towards the city, hence sticking religiously to the height of the previous scheme.
Combined with the existing application that has been approved it seems unlikely that Islington Council would refuse permission so construction proper should be well underway by the end of the year.
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