Located in the heart of London, near the Bank of England and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, this two-building structure has won the Stirling prize, which is the UK’s most prestigious architecture award. The Stirling Prize is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). In a unanimous decision, the Bloomberg building won over five other finalists. Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President stated that:
“This building is a profound expression of confidence in British architecture — and perfectly illustrates why the UK is the profession’s global capital. This role and reputation must be maintained, despite the political uncertainty of Brexit.”
Designed by Foster + Partners with sustainability in mind, it is also recognized as the top-rated major office building in the world based on BREEAM standards. The inspiration for the building was to create a cutting-edge design that would push the boundaries of accepted design and set new standards for openness and sustainability, while honoring London’s history. The building uses 73% less water and 35% less energy than a typical office building because of the latest innovations in power, lighting and water imagined in the design. The airflow is automatically adjusted by smart sensors, based on the number of people occupying each area of the building at any given time. This alone reduces CO2 emissions by 300 metric tons annually, plus another 500-750 metric tons are reduced by a unique heat/power generation unit which reuses its own waste heat for cooling and heating the building.
The Bloomberg HQ is not only the standard for sustainability, it is just plain gorgeous. The first thing you notice is the sandstone facade, which is accented by large bronze fins which vary in pitch and scale according to orientation and solar exposure, which provide both shade and ventilation. At the center of the site is a pedestrian arcade which re-establishes an ancient Roman road and a museum which displays the Roman temple of Mithras, which was discovered on the site 60 years ago.
Visitors to the Bloomberg HQ enter a two story artwork made from curved timber shells called the Vortex. The entire flow through the building is choreographed by art. The heart of the building is the 6th floor ‘Pantry’ which encompasses a large concourse and cafe space that offer panoramic views of the city. A distinctive bronze ramps spirals down to the office floors below the ‘Pantry,’ which was designed to encourage, by chance, walk and talk meetings that are comfortable and collaborative. The high-tech offices have ceilings fitted with 2.5 million aluminum petals, which regulate acoustics, temperature and light.
In its 23rd year, the RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded to the architect of the most signifcant building of the year. The award criteria is based upon factors such as design vision, innovation, originality, accessibility, sustainability and the capacity to stimulate.
From the Factory Floor
A little inspiration…
by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting