As construction nears completion at 22 Bishopsgate; the tallest tower in the City of London’s financial district, which is set to become London’s first ‘vertical village’, we are thrilled to announce our involvement in this landmark project.
Designed by PLP Architecture for AXA IM – Real Assets and Lipton Rogers Developments, the 62-storey commercial tower will accommodate up to 12,000 people across its 2-million sqft of internal floor space.
In April 2016, we were asked by Sir Stuart Lipton, to propose concepts for the tower’s ground and first floor atrium, known as ‘The Library’. This was to provide a warm heart to the building, and we have worked closely with Karen Cook and her team at PLP Architecture over the past three years to realise this brief.
After many ideas had been floated, the client settled on a design comprised of flat and twisted padded leather panels, which rise from the escalator soffit at ground level, twisting like a ribbon up to and within the ceiling, before returning to floor level on the opposite side of the entrance hall. A Barrisol background allows for light and air into the space, whilst maintaining the uniform shape for both elements.
The twisted ribbon-like construction of the ceiling panels has been developed in a two-part shell, designed and developed at our studios, with the leatherworking carried out by our craftspeople by hand in our North London workshops.
The view from the outside of the building was also crucial. The Library is the centre point between the tower’s two entrances, and doubles as a gallery with curated temporary art exhibits, so a visual impact was required to draw people into the space. Leather-clad panelling to the ground and first floor continue the theme across the core reception walls of the atrium.
Designed to work with the other finishes of stone and steel, we developed a full-grain heavily drummed, and naturally grained leather from scratch, with our European tannery. In a soft tan, the leather has colour and textural variation across its surface, creating warmth and a subtle tonal difference between each panel.
22 Bishopsgate is the largest project by floor area in the UK to be registered for WELL health and wellbeing certification, and it has also been designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating for sustainability. We are immensely proud to be contributing to this project, which will be a new landmark within the ever-evolving fabric of the London skyline.
22 Bishopsgate is due to open its doors in March 2020. Find out more here.
Images courtesy of PLP Architecture