2015 ongoing, London, United Kingdom
Located in the heart of London city, Twenty Two Bishopsgate will deliver a new standard of workplace; one designed for local and global occupiers and adaptable to their future business needs. Twenty Two Bishopsgate will be a new Vertical Village campus embracing the way people want to work, and reflecting the City’s ever changing consumer base.
As the Project Landscape Architect, West 8’s design vision for the surrounding public realm seeks to provide continuity within public domain, unifying the site with its surrounding context, creating an iconic destination, and respecting view lines to some of London’s most treasured icons.
Great public spaces are determined by the quality of the public realm, but also by the activation of the site with new cultural programs, activity, and a mix of uses on the ground floor. 22 Bishopsgate offers 100,000sqft of amenity space, and an improved public realm design, which features a series of public areas of various sizes and scales.
From the outset West 8 was tasked with addressing two contrasting areas – the noisy, bustling Bishopsgate and the quiet but undefined Undershaft. At Bishopsgate, West 8’s design vision supports the street’s primary function as a thoroughfare, moving large quantities of vehicular and pedestrian traffic north and south along the city’s main artery. By recessing the building entrances the design gives space to pedestrians, adding a row of trees to provide a breath of fresh air without interrupting the flow of people.
The Undershaft, which has been developed in concert with the city and adjacent properties, offers shelter from the prevailing winds, and creates a tranquil space for local workers. This notion of tranquillity is further reinforced by an off-site consolidation centre which manages deliveries, thereby reducing the number of vehicles coming to site. Further the creation of a new passageway through the base of the tower connects these two sites and replicates the long standing city tradition of small, intuitive alleyways and routes. Providing a stage for a series of new public art commissions that will act as a backdrop for the building’s front door.
Lastly a raised plaza in Crosby Square will act as vantage point and natural gathering space, fully accessible by means of a public staircase, it has a multitude of potential uses. It will become a place for people to meet and relax; to sit and eat lunch; or a venue for a public events. By extending the usage of traditional Yorkstone pavement slabs and granite kerbs, the ground level will blend into the urban tissue of the city.
In line with the City’s Long term Strategic Vision plan for the Eastern Cluster the new streetscape prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists, has a dominant sustainability agenda, and improves public transport connections. The planting of a dozen trees along the street profile provides a coherent planting strategy for the site, in coordination with hard landscape provisions.