5 Huge London Completions To Watch For In 2017
As 2016 comes to a close, it's time to look toward what's coming in 2017, and fans of London architecture have a handful of projects completing next year to be excited about.
Foster + Partners' Bloomberg HQ
Situated on a wedge of land near the Bank of England and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bloomberg’s new HQ is nearly ready for its close-up. Foster + Partners architects were tapped in 2010 to build two buildings, one at 507k SF, the other at 255k SF, with a public arcade between them for the US-based news service. With innovative “gills” that allow the building to “breathe” fresh air, the building is striving for minimal environmental impact.
A massive, brass ramp will spiral through the core of the building and glass elevators facing the exterior of the building will impart breathtaking views over the city. Huge, open-planned levels will accommodate 4,600 workstations for staff when they relocate from Finsbury Square in spring 2017.
A Roman temple was discovered during excavation of the site, so designers have integrated a museum in the double-height basement where writing tablets and leather goods will be displayed, along with 14,000 other artefacts, some of which date back to 43 AD.
AHMM's Met Police HQ
In the heart of Westminster and close to the Met’s original location, the new HQ of the Metropolitan Police is undergoing a significant refurbishment and security upgrade.
In 2014, the old New Scotland Yard was sold for £370M as part of the mayor’s call for streamlining and modernizing of government buildings. The new premises on Victoria Embankment will save £6M/year. The Curtis Green Building was already owned by the government but had been vacant since 2011.
The new building will feature an upgraded public realm, and the world-famous revolving sign will be retained.
Duggan Morris Architects' R7 Kings Cross
Duggan Morris Architects began working on R7 in summer 2013. The 150k SF flexible office building at Kings Cross was the practice’s largest project to date. Sitting beside Stanton Williams’ Central St. Martins school of art and design, the project aims to encompass the overall feel of Kings Cross as a flexible, dynamic, diverse place.
The ground floor offers retail, restaurants and a three-screen cinema, as well as gallery and event space. Each office floor, which can be subdivided, will have at least one terrace, and there's a large, shared roof terrace on the ninth floor. Cycle storage, changing rooms and showers encourage active commuting for office workers.
Argent, the developer of Kings Cross, pre-let 123k SF over seven floors to fashion retailer New Look and 28k SF over three floors to electronic liquidity provider XTX Markets. New Look will relocate 800 employees to its new HQ when the building completes in July 2017.
Kieran Timberlake’s US Embassy at Nine Elms
Philadelphia-based architecture firm Kieran Timberlake was selected in 2010 to design the new US Embassy at Nine Elms. In a change from the US’s typical, fortress-like government buildings, plans for the site call for a secure and environmentally sensitive, 12-storey glass cube floating on a colonnade over a landscaped public realm and pond. The pond acts as a protective moat, and the design of the landscape sets the building back and away from potential car bombs.
The $500M project will accommodate about 1,000 staffers. The building itself is a centrepiece of the wider Battersea regeneration project.
Construction crews broke ground in 2013 and were expected to finish in 2016, but delays have pushed completion to spring 2017. The US State Department had occupied the embassy site in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, since 1938. In 2009, the government sold the site to Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co, which will transform it into a hotel.
KPF's The Scalpel
The Scalpel is a new office building smack in the middle of the cluster of exciting skyscrapers: the Cheesgrater, Gherkin and Shard. It is also massive, towering 630 feet over Lime Street.
The Scalpel, designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, leans away from the Cheesegrater and allows uninterrupted views of St. Paul’s dome from Fleet Street; however, from the opposite side of town, it looks like St. Paul’s has a set of adorable bunny ears.
The new development infuses some much-needed square footage into the city core. Pre-leasing has been brisk, with insurance broker BPL Global snapping up the 12th floor, and US insurance company WR Berkley Corp signing a lease for 20% of the building. The Scalpel will welcome its first tenants in December 2017.