Fletcher Priest has won the Developer Project of the Year at the LEAF awards for One New Ludgate. New Ludgate is the transformation of a City block into a generous and lively new quarter for London. It sets up a dialogue between two striking and complementary new buildings whilst reinstating and improving the public realm around it and new routes through the city block.
The site on the old city wall of Ludgate Hill was formerly home to some outdated 1980s office buildings, the tallest element of which breached Primrose Hill viewing corridor height restrictions, and which offered little in the way of public amenity, with a dull sunken arcade at its lower levels.
Fletcher Priest was asked to masterplan the site in collaboration with Sauerbruch Hutton by Land Securities, separating it into two headquarter-sized office buildings - Two New Bailey to the north, designed by Sauerbruch Hutton with Fletcher Priest as executive architect, and One New Ludgate designed by Fletcher Priest.
The 165,000 sq ft One New Ludgate building itself comprises nine storeys plus ground floors. It is animated by bars and retail outlets under fixed white glass awnings. The building uses a façade concept of a masonry grid that keeps off direct sunlight and throws light onto the floorplates and, when viewed obliquely from the street's wide pavements, gives a solidity to the building. "We wanted something quite cool and modern, whereas the other building may be more playful," explained Steve Barton, Partner Fletcher Priest Architects.
White precast concrete frames, simply detailed, respect their neighbours and set off the floor-to-ceiling low-ion glazing, while vivid amber 'Kathedral' glass fins are used on the piazzetta 'accent' façade in the new public space, where a mature tree provides shade and visual link for Belle Sauvage. A floating plane of photovoltaic cells lines the roofscape along with plant and a green roof, while both buildings flank a still-operating two and a half-storey city electrical interchange, which allows light into the heart of the site.
One New Ludgate also boasts extensive private external space, accessible from every office floor. This includes set-back loggia and balconies and a substantial south-facing terrace with uninterrupted views of St Paul's which is capable of accommodating 300 people at the fifth floor set-back level, landscaped as elsewhere by Gustafson Porter.
Photography: Timothy Soar