This medium-rise, mixed-use government headquarters building provides office, residential and retail accommodation with no intrusion of the superb skyline views. The scheme provides a similar overall gross floor area to the previously unloved high rise blocks dubbed ‘the ugly sisters’. The total accommodation is over 1 million square feet, with approximately 800,000 sq. ft. of office space for 3,500 Home Office staff in three inter-connected buildings, and the remainder in three residential blocks providing 140 private and affordable apartments, nine shops and three kiosks.
The existing development restricted public circulation, so an inclusive, civic community was created and the public realm enhanced, including artworks by artists such as Liam Gillick incorporated into the building design. A generous use of colour on the glass canopy gives the exterior visual interest along the elevations and led to local people dubbing the street ‘Rainbow Street’. BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating has been achieved for sustainability based on energy performance, building construction methods and management and the desirability of the resulting environment for the occupants.