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Grand Buildings

location: Trafalgar Square, London

year: 1985

design: Richard Horden Associates

The competition design for Grand Buildings reached the nine second stage finalists in an open competition of approximately three hundred. The principal aim of the design was to bring a light, contemporary, surface architecture to central London, informed by the best current Washington architecture.

In Washington there is a similar need to restrict building heights to match that of old buildings, and a similar need to use light toned limestone to bring light and softness to the urban fabric. We combined this with the ­development of one of central London’s best architectural traditions, the covered arcade. These ideas about lightening the city became the mainstay of the pro­jects for Shell UK and Stag Place.