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1 Finsbury Square

location: London EC2

year: 2004

client: The Royal Bank of Scotland

Horden Cherry Lee Architects completed this new 6,800 sqm speculative office building for Royal Bank of Scotland in March 2004 after winning the commission in a limited architectural competition in 2000.

It replaces an older building adding around fifty percent extra space per floor while improving pedestrian arrangements. These were carefully negotiated with the London Borough of Islington and enabled substantial floor space gains for the client. They also produced a much better townscape and architectural solution for the building, which is in the Finsbury Square Conservation Area.

As a result, the new scheme provides modern, efficient, flexible office floors that are 15 metres deep and column-free. Flush internal facades ensure the space can be flexibly partitioned. An open ground floor colonnade houses a restaurant, shops and the main reception area to the offices, and sets a precedent for future development on Finsbury Square. In the townscape, the building establishes a strong corner entrance into the square from the south along Finsbury Pavement and responds in scale and proportion to adjacent buildings.

Columns on the external façade provide a vertical emphasis to the main elevations with horizontal stone and glass louvres spanning between them, adding depth and scale and shading the offices.