SSDA 2019 C O M M E N D A T I O N
Offering 39,000m2 of floorspace,
the 15-storey-high Fen Court is
one of the latest additions to the
City of London’s skyline.
Featuring a distinctive crown-shaped
design, the building includes spacious office
floorplates, a rooftop restaurant and what is
said to be London’s first publicly accessible
With its modern steel and glass design,
combined with the natural green space of
the rooftop garden, the structure provides
a welcome contrast to the surrounding City
The upper office floors have a doubleskin
passive façade, with dichroic glass in
the outer panes, giving this section of the
building a changeable appearance. The highperformance
façade also includes motorized
blinds, giving occupants the option to easily
reduce solar gain during summer.
The project’s basement was designed to
keep an existing high street bank, which
occupies part of the site, in operation, while
demolition and construction works took
In order for this existing tenant to
remain operational, the previous building
was demolished around the existing bank,
and the bank’s new premises then had to
be constructed in advance of the main Fen
William Hare says it was able to build
the new bank premises and facilitate the
move, without disrupting services to the
The challenging build of the high
street bank premises involved a top-down
construction sequence for a small portion
of the site, in which plunge columns were
driven into the ground and a small area of
the basement slab was cast.
This allowed William Hare to construct
the steel frame above at the same time as
the excavation of the three-level basement
was taking place below.
Once excavation was complete, and the
two cores constructed, William Hare began
a traditional bottom-up erection process of
the main steel frame. The column grids are
between 6m and 9m up to level 1, where the
structure then changes to a 3m grid pattern.
This means that floor 1 is a transfer
level, formed with a metre-deep plate girder
acting as a continuous ring beam.
William Hare said that in order to
achieve the tight programme of 23 weeks
for the erection of 6,300t of steelwork,
it installed a series of welded frames
around the perimeter, comprising two ×
two-storey-high columns, and a couple of
perimeter floor beams.
Effectively, this turned the need for four
individual crane lifts, into only one, thereby
saving precious time.
In summary, the judges say a
challenging construction sequence was
required to accommodate the relocation of
a high street bank that was operational on
site throughout the works.
A 15-storey office and retail scheme in the City of
London was built around and without disrupting
the operations of an on-site high street bank.
Eric Parry Architects
Sir Robert McAlpine
Generali Real Estate
Fen Court, London
© Eric Parry Architects