The refurbishment of one of the city’s most distinctive postmodern buildings to provide contemporary commercial workspace.
For centuries, Lombard Street has been at the centre of London financial life, and until recently home to most of the UK’s leading banks. The largest plot on the street – an island site which also addresses Gracechurch Street – was given to the headquarters of Barclays Bank, a highly distinctive postmodern building designed by GMW in the early 1990s. When the bank departed in 2003 for London’s new financial hub at Canary Wharf, it was apparent that a comprehensive refurbishment and rebrand of the building would be needed to establish it as a new city address. Orms won a limited design competition run by fund managers AVIVA in 2004 to deliver this transformation.
The basic premise has been to reclad the four podium floors to establish a new relationship to the street, the primary elevation now being to the east – giving the building the new name and address of 20 Gracechurch Street. The elevations draw from the geometry of the original building’s curved forms, but are freshly integrated with the neighbouring buildings with their elegant Portland stone cladding and new retail units. Internally, the podium floors and the 16 levels in the tower above have been refurbished to Category A standard, achieving between 30 and 35% greater efficiency in their energy use.
Following a limited competition of 4 architects in March 2004, AVIVA Investors (then Morley Fund Management) commissioned Orms Architecture Design to refurbish, rebrand and upgrade to world class office accommodation the former headquarters of Barclay’s Bank at 54 Lombard Street in the City of London.
The four podium floors – ground level to the 3rd floor – of the 17 storey building have been comprehensively refurbished and reclad; dramatically rebranding and upgrading the tired early 90’s building. Internally 16 floors (including lower ground and basement) have been internally refurbished to a Category A standard. As part of the transformation the building has been renamed 20 Gracechurch Street.
With a handsome street level façade elegantly incorporating new retail units, the £48m redevelopment re-integrates with the surrounding imposing City buildings, and its new Portland Stone façade responds to the solidity of the adjacent Bank conservation area.