Commercial - 8 Finsbury Circus, London

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Commercial Circus feat 14 NSC September 15 Overlooking the City of London’s largest open public space, a new prestigious nine-storey office building is rapidly taking shape with the aid of steel construction’s speed of delivery. Number 8 Finsbury Circus is on a plot previously occupied by River Plate House, which was demolished in 2013 to make way for this scheme. Built in the 1980s, the old building was deemed to be inefficient by today’s standards. With a large central atrium and off-centre core, little thought seems to have been given to maximising floor plates. This is not the case with the new scheme, as it will offer 14,800m2 of offices and 880m2 of retail space. The development also accommodates two main entrances, one on Finsbury Circus and the other on South Place, which will be set within a retained 1920s façade. With the exception of the retained façade, the creation of a new building was seen as the best way to give the client the modern office building required. “After an in-depth appraisal of the site, it was decided that a completely new build as opposed to a renovation was the best way forward. This has allowed us to design a light-filled modern office that is sympathetic to its neighbouring buildings on the Circus,” explains Wilkinson Eyre Project Architect Sam Wright. A steel framing solution with a centrally positioned core was then deemed to be the best way of achieving this design. A lightwell that adjoins one of the three party walls allows light to penetrate the structure’s upper floors where the building is at its deepest. A nine-storey high metal artwork by renowned design studio Carpenter/Lowings will be hung in the lightwell when the project is nearing completion. The artwork will act as a reflector and help spread light into the floors below. “The new structure incorporates a long-span steel frame and composite floors utilising one concrete core for stability,” explains Waterman Group Project Engineer Richard Whitehead. “We have a very efficient building that maximises the available space. “The design choice has also made the construction programme much quicker as steel erection and basement works have been able to progress simultaneously.” A new commercial development on Finsbury Circus in the City of London has thrown-up a number of unique challenges, reports Martin Cooper. The building maximises the available space A modern structure has been seamlessly set into Finsbury Circus


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